How can we love ourselves and others when we are unhappy, depressed, resentful, lonely, addicted, or when we have past issues that haunt us, or when we have a low self worth? How do we break free from the past and start living for the here and now?
What we really need to do is address what is holding us back from loving ourselves and loving others. Why are we unhappy, depressed or lonely? Why are we addicted to drugs, sex, or alcohol? Why are we allowing our feelings to control the person inside us? Why do we have a low self-image?
Past issues can literally haunt us and steer us further away from God's loving arms where we truly belong. These issues take hold of our minds and tell us it's okay to feel a certain way. For instance, if you were sexually abused as a child, your mind might constantly tell you not to trust men. Or if you were brought up in an alcoholic home environment, you may abuse alcohol yourself. These kinds of past issues will keep us from loving the person we are, which in turn will keep us from being able to fully love others as well. So what can we do?
We can put our total trust and faith in our Creator and let Him free us from our heavy burdens. It's really that simple, but yet, the most difficult aspect is humbling ourselves enough to allow God to actually go to work in our lives. We don't need addiction and pride to keep us from loving the person we are. These things are like crutches that only ease the pain for a little while. God already knows what is holding each and everyone of us back from loving. All we have to do is let Him know we are ready for Him to transform us.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28,29 NIV)
What we really need is to have total belief that what Jesus says for us is true. We need to have faith enough to know that when Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened," that he is inviting us into His life so we can finally experience healing and peace for ourselves. Then we can begin living a new fruitful life in God and for God, instead of for ourselves. This means we might need to make some changes in the way we are living now if we want to heal our past and learn to love the way God wants us to love.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)
God continually assures us that those who honestly seek Him will be rewarded. Rewarded with what? Rewarded, not only with eternal life in all of its magnificent bliss, but in this life we are now living! Isn't that wonderful news? I encourage all of you who have heavy burdens you are carrying now to strip them away from your hearts and minds and begin acting on your faith and knowledge of God. Love yourselves so you can love others the way God intended for you to love.
Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35 NIV)
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