Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Inspirations December 6, 2009

The kids and I ended up coming home early from church today as my oldest has ended up with yet another sickness. Well, it could be the same sickness revisited. At first I thought, "Great. I'll get my post done early today." But no. Snow had to be shoveled and my sick girl needed some attention, which I happily provided.

Typically by the time the kids go to bed at night my brain is so tired I'm lucky to put more than a few sentences together. Tonight, however, the thoughts I've had running through my head since yesterday are still hanging around. I've got to figure this means the message that struck me so hard yesterday is something someone out there needs to hear.

I was asked to speak at a baptism yesterday. As part of my talk a scripture came to mind.

"Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:36-39).

The phrase, "love thy neighbor as thyself" stuck out at me in a way it never had before. Not the part where we need to love our neighbor, but the idea of loving ourselves. It sounds like an easy enough thing to do, right? Think about it. Maybe it's not as easy as it sounds.

Those of us who have been born to righteous and loving parents have been gifted with positive messages from the time we are little. We are told how precious we are, and praised for big accomplishments like learning to tie our shoes, singing the ABC's, or saying our first word. Yet the moment we go out into the world messages teaching us to hate everything about ourselves come flying at us without caring what effects may be incurred.

We're too tall or too short. Too fat, or too skinny. Too smart, or too dumb. Overqualified, or don't have enough experience. We dress too nice, we don't dress nice enough. We're too light, or too dark. In essence, nothing we are is good enough, and we will never fit in.

Of course we realize it's all a part of Satan's plan, but have you ever stopped to think about why? It sure hit me hard yesterday as I was reading through that scripture. People, it's a commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. In other words, the love we share for those around us can only be as great as the love we have for ourselves!

That means mistakes and all! That's right, I mean all. I am by no means anywhere near perfect, but you know what? I love the person I've become. I love my silly sense of humor and subtle flair for the dramatic. I love my overactive imagination and the way I can use it to make up odd stories for my kids. I love my intense chocolate cravings and even that I sometimes stay up too late at night because I can't get enough of the newest Facebook game.

Okay so maybe I don't love it when I let my temper get the better of me, but I've decided it's part of what makes me who I am, and love that it sure takes a lot to make me upset enough to lose it. I don't necessarily love all my fat rolls, but do love that I can appreciate it when I've found something that looks really good on me.

There are so many things to hate about ourselves, but that's the world - and by 'the world' I mean Satan - talking at us. For every bad thing we can't stand, there are a billion wonderful and extraordinary things about us we forget to love. And if we can't love ourselves, how can we love those around us? How can we help them to see the wonderful and extraordinary talents and gifts they posses?

Yet I think the biggest contradiction is in saying we love God, but we hate what He's created. We are His creations. We are His beloved children. Regardless of what certain people have been taught, He does not make mistakes. His creations are just as He knows they need to be. It's up to us to figure out what purpose our supposed imperfections hold.

This week's challenge? Every time you say or think something about yourself that is uncomplimentary, you have to - and I do mean HAVE TO - come up with five things you love about yourself. Go can do it!


Debbie D said...

Providencial. Thank you.

Burwell's Bits said...

So true. Thank you for your insights. I will try harder to be better for myself and my family. We all deserve it.