Do you truly love and accept who you are? Can you look in the mirror and like what you see?
The Bible teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). This means that we can only love in direct proportion to how we have processed love and acceptance for ourselves. Anytime someone struggles to love others properly, we can be sure there is a realm of self-hate at work within, keeping the flow of love from operating.
Ephesians tells that a man who love his wife loves himself (Ephesians 5:28). We can also know from this verse that a man who does not love his wife does not love himself.
If we do not face the self-hatred issues of our heart, we will struggle with anger and bitterness issues towards those close to us. Worse yet, we will drown in a sea of inward torment.
Many people who are not willing to face their own self-hatred battles end up fabricating acts of love, so that no one will see their inward struggle with self-hatred. Too often we perform in life to cover up for our lack of love and acceptance of who we are.
True Love Squashes Self-Hate
In driving out the work of hate, we welcome the flow of God's love to come and change lives. The love of God needs to be received in ourselves. Combating self-hatred involves gaining a deep revelation of God's love and truly accepting that, once and for all. We cannot listen to the enemy's thoughts that seek to block that reception of love.
1 Corinthians 13 is the guide on the power of love that can drive out the work of hate that keeps you from loving and liking you. Here are 10 ways we can combat self-hatred and receive love for ourselves.
1. Be patient with yourself, "love is patient ..." One of the cornerstones of love is patience. Patience expresses the mindset of love. When you are patient with someone else, you are exercising the work of love towards their life. The key is, are you patient with yourself? Do you allow yourself time to grow up, or are you constantly impatient with your journey, wishing you were at some point you are not currently at? Maybe today would be a good time to start exercising patience with yourself. It would even be great to speak words of patience out loud. Being patient with yourself is a great way you can learn to be your own best friend.
2. Be kind to yourself, "love is kind ..." The second cornerstone of love is kindness. Patience acts as a buffer in relationships, helping someone feel accepted in their journey. Kindness is intentional actions of love towards someone. Do you intentionally think and say things that are kind towards yourself? Most people spend their day listening to thoughts about themselves that are harsh, accusing, guilt-ridden and down right abusive. If you were to document your thoughts about yourself from the day, would they be uplifting and encouraging? Where can you begin thinking and speaking towards yourself in such a way that is kind? Be kind, you are the only version of you that you have.
3. Stop comparing yourself, "love does not envy ..." The worst thing you can do with your brokenness is to compare yourself to any other person. This is always a trap. Whether you feel better about yourself in comparison to someone else or worse than them, you still fall into the trap of the enemy. The saddest thing about comparing yourself to any other person is that you lose the value of who you are on this planet in your own uniqueness. The only image you should compare yourself to is the image God says that you are. Good news: He is patient with you as you grow towards that image!
4. Drop the need to draw attention to yourself "love does not parade itself ..." In our brokenness, we can end up doing things to draw attention to ourselves. We do things to elicit attention with the hope that people will love us. The problem is that this excessive neediness drains people, causing them at times to retreat from us. This reinforces the thoughts of rejection and self-hate that say we are worthless and unlovable. When we stop doing things to draw out love from people, we give them room to love us out of their own initiation. This leads me to the next point.
5. Position yourself to receive from others, "love is not puffed up ..." People who do not love themselves have a hard time receiving love from others. Loving words or acts of affection do not penetrate into their hearts. When we do not receive love from those who genuinely want to love us, we engage the work of pride that keeps us from humbly receiving what others seek to give us. Next time someone says something loving, instead of immediately changing the subject or throwing back a compliment to them, take in and appreciate the love expression. Humble your heart to receive from those you may have been resistant to in the past.
6. Take care of yourself, "love does not behave rudely ..." Combating self-hate must be intentional. We must live and behave in such a way that we honor and value our heart, mind and body. Self-hate drives us to live a busy life with no regard for the condition of our heart. Whenever we act rudely towards someone, we show no value for who they are. But how often are we rude towards ourselves, and we come into agreement with the enemy by not valuing who we are?
7. Break selfish tendencies, "love does not seek its own ... " When proper self-love is not present, we can become a very self-centered and selfish generation, thinking of only ourselves. People who carry self-love know that the love they have been given works best when it is given away. As love is given out, more is available form heaven.
8. Get self-anger out of your life, "love is not provoked ... " I worked hard all my life to not react to abusive people by passing it on. The problem is that I stuffed that anger down, making me an enemy to myself in anger. So whenever problems would arise, I would not blame others, I would just take the hit on myself. This is an toxic way to deal with problems in life. I have learned that this is a tactic of Satan to keep me from being kind and patient towards myself.
9. Cast down all evil assumptions against yourself, "love sees no evil ..." People say they are their own worst enemy. That is a lie. God did not create you to be an enemy to yourself.
You have an enemy, but that enemy is not you. Satan is very keen at releasing thoughts and impressions that sound like your own, locking you into a self vs. self battle. He is your enemy.
When you have proper self-love, it is not that you do not see evil at all. It just means the evil is not your constant obsessive focus. You recognize there is evil in you, but you are not obsessed with it. Love puts evil in its proper context, because only in love can evil be driven out thoroughly. Without it, we get into legalistic attempts to get free.
10. Get happy about what God says about you, "love rejoices in the truth ..." When was the last time you celebrated you? We spend so much time trying to be something or attempting to go somewhere, but very little time expressing the joy of what God has done and who He made us to be. Do you spend time rejoicing over what God's word says about you? If not, today would be a great day to start this habit. Join the party that heaven is already having over you, and celebrate!
Question: Which way can you apply this today to receive more of God's love for yourself?
Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full-time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and his wife, Melissa, founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside-out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark's teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.
For the original article, visit markdejesus.com.
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