Friday, 26 September 2014

Love/d On A Friday: Blessed We Bless... Ourselves

 

God rested for one whole day out of seven but will we let ourselves take time off or rest?
Do we let ourselves do things we would like to do and enjoy ourselves?
Do we ever spend money on ourselves unless it's something essential to our survival?
Do we like to accept gifts?

I'm sure there are all kinds of responses we could make to these questions about how the answers are 'No' because God must come first and so must other people.  And that means there are responsibilities we must meet.  People we need to look after and keep happy.  Demands on our money and time.

I don't know your life but I do know the realities of responsibities and demands and I'm guessing you do too.

And I know what a safe place they are.  Because responsibilities and demands can feel like our best protection against being selfish.

In the Christianity I have always known, there have been shocking sins you only whisper about but selfishness has always felt like the biggest scandal of all.  'God and others'.  That's how the tune and rhythm go.

Yet like we were talking about the other week, we are told to love others as we love ourselves.  And that means it must not only be possible but important to do both.  I don't exactly know how to separate self love and selfishness: how we can love ourselves and it not be selfish.  But what I do know is that lots of the time trying to put God and others first ends up in us being horrible to ourselves.

And being horrible to ourselves can feel like the way it should be.

Adam and Eve shot themselves into a world where hard work replaced ease.  Pain, poverty and hardship ensued.  It was the horrible result of their sin.  And I think deep down within ourselves, we feel we deserve that.  We fall short so working hard, maybe too hard, and going without is like our rightful punishment.   

Only if we are being useful we might feel better about ourselves, more deserving.  

It can be really difficult to ask for blessings from God and be grateful to Him for good things because we have a sense we shouldn't have them.  It's much more comfortable to seek to do His will and find it is unpleasant or difficult.

It's all the opposite of grace:  undeserved favour - God's goodness to us, His blessings we can't earn or deserve.

Talking about selflove like we have been for the last couple of weeks can feel really uncomfortable when we fear being selfish.  But I think it's possible God, in the role of our loving Father, wants to bless us far more than we will let Him when we insist on being our own judge and jury, trying not to be selfish to discipline and punish ourselves.

I wonder what it would it look like if we gave ourselves grace and let ourselves receive it... 

This is part of a #selflove series here and at mirrormakeover.org.

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