Fresh Hope – 6th May 2019

Today we take a look at the 5th decision that will affect the quality and outcome of your life.

5 – THE PORTRAIT THAT YOU DECIDE TO PAINT OF YOURSELF.

How do you see yourself?

Jesus told it like this…

Mark 12:28-31 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’

Now we know that we should all love our neighbours…right? But how many of us know that there is a far deeper issue at stake here that can be often overlooked. This issue has been frowned upon in many Christian circles for decades, and it’s this: how much do you love yourself?

The reason it’s frowned on, is because no one wants to be known as a lover of themselves. We already live in a very narcissistic world, and the last thing we need is an encouragement to go even further down this road. However, this is not that.

Let me ask you a question — do you love yourself? Do you even like yourself? Your answers will be very revealing, as it would appear that those that don’t like themselves, cannot be free to love others in their world; they are just too consumed with disliking themselves. Now you would think that it would be the opposite, in that those that love themselves wouldn’t have the
room to love anyone else, and yet Jesus said…love your neighbour AS you love yourself.

Think about it — when I love myself, I’m no longer SELF conscious, as I’m happy with ME. In turn I’m actually free to be OTHERS conscious.

This scripture is helping us to see that loving myself just the way that God made me, is the most freeing thing in the world, yet self-hatred is to dislike or even hate the very way that God made you.

What image are you painting of yourself right now? That image will determine how you see others.

When Moses sent out 12 spies to a survey the promised land, 10 of the men came back and this is what they said:

Numbers 13:32-33 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.’

Question: how did the 10 men know what they looked like to the enemy? Did they ask them? Of course not, the only way they perceived this was because of the self portrait they had painted of themselves in their heads; therefore the biggest ENEMY that you face right now is your INNER – ME.

Change the way you think about yourself and you change the way that you think about others.

To truly love your neighbour starts with dealing with this issue once and for all — do I love myself in the way that God intended?

Want to know if you come across as self-conscious or people-conscious? Be brave, and ask a close friend what they see when they look into your life. It will be the quickest way of helping you grow into the person that you were intended to be.

Start by loving yourself…and you’ll end up having the capacity to love everyone else.

Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.