The kids and I talk a lot about how we’re supposed to treat others. In fact, it’s how we begin and end the majority of our classes and Bible club meetings. But this week, I threw them for a loop. Instead of talking about how well we treat others, we talked about the way we treat ourselves. They were stumped. “Why does that matter?” one asked. “That’s weird,” another added. The rest just blankly stared at me like I was an alien.
Here’s a weird question (I didn’t know how weird until I was enlightened by some local kids), do you like yourself? Think about that for a second because the way we feel about ourselves directly influences the way we treat others.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:39 to love others as we love ourselves. Could the lack of love in our society stem from a negative self image?
After we talked for awhile, one young, cute kid spoke up and admitted that when they mess up, they cuss at themselves in their head. They know it isn’t right and wouldn’t talk that way to others but when they’re upset
with themselves, they’re brutal. The room was painfully quiet before others began to nod in agreement. I nodded too, knowing full well what it’s like to sometimes live with an inner bully.
Why do we allow guilt and shame to call our name so clearly but refuse to listen to the one who created us in his image? Church, we need to be reminded of who we are. The world is quick to offer suggestions. We fill in our own but God’s voice is all that matters. He calls us holy, chosen, and dearly loved in Colossians. In the book of Peter, he says we’re royalty and proclaimers of his praises. Throughout his book, God’s voice tells us we’re loved and worthy.
If you struggle with a toxic view of yourself, I encourage you to seek help. Find a church who will love you and remind you who you are in Christ. And find a professional counselor who will continue to speak God‘s truth
into your life. You were created in God’s image and he loves you.
Be kind to you so you can be kind to others.