Show me the truth about myself,
No matter how wonderful it may be.
Let’s read the above quote again, and this time make it a prayer:
“Loving God, show me the truth about myself, no matter how wonderful it may be.”
Does that last line grip your heart like it does mine? I can feel my heart smiling—especially since I am expecting a whammy. The end of that prayer takes me pleasantly off guard.
I (Denise) remember being taught the Examination of Conscience when I was seven years old, as I was preparing to confess my sins to the priest. It was a very serious, soul-searching process for me, and I wanted to include everything I had done wrong or failed to do right.
We all know we are to confess our sins, struggles, and failures to God and receive his forgiveness and mercy in return. But what if one of our greatest struggles—the struggle that hurts God profoundly —is failing to love what he loves and that is us? What if our lack of love for ourselves cuts his heart deeply? What if he longs for us to forgive the self we are so hard on, hold in contempt, and refuse to love or accept?
Why are we looking for God to find something wrong with us, as if he is never pleased with us? Is it because we are afraid that maybe we don’t pray enough, love enough, serve enough, or give enough? Or perhaps are critical, selfish, or a poser?
What if he just delights in us—rough edges and all? What if he enjoys what he created in us . . . desires to encourage us on the journey . . . and wants us to know his heart overflows with love, acceptance, and affirmation of who he has created us to be?
He already knows we will make mistakes--and he knows we can learn from our failures and disappointments and struggles. He isn’t waiting for us to “arrive” at some top pinnacle on this earth. He just wants to be right with us as we grow—needing him, being dependent on him, and leaning on him along the way.
Would you consider stopping at different moments today to ask God what wonderful truths he sees when he looks at you? Maybe it could become part of your daily diet—like an essential nutrient. Because it really is.
Stop and look at your reflection in the mirror and remind yourself each day: "I am the one Jesus loves." Say it aloud. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? What a wonderful change it would be from your usual self-talk.
(Excerpt from "Loving God, Loving Myself")
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BOOKS AND MEDIA: "Loving God, Loving Myself" and our Expanded Edition of "The Missing Commandment: Love Yourself," is available at jerryanddenisebasel.com and Amazon.com.
COUNSELING MINISTRY: If you or anyone you know is in need of finding a safe place for emotional and/or spiritual healing and restoration, please contact us at The Father's Heart Intensive Christian Counseling Ministry. Check out our web site at fathersheart.com or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located in the North Georgia Mountains in a retreat-like setting and counsel individuals or couples for periods of two to five-days in length.