Manage episode 373005375 series 3023172
You Are Not Alone
How beautiful these words are! So loving, so assuring, so hopeful. Every single sentence is touched with grace and love. There is not too much to add to this beautiful passage.
It shows how much God cares for us. You are not alone. God is right there with you to take care of you.
The Holy Spirit helps you in your weakness and prays for you with sighs too deep for words. Jesus Christ intercedes for you at the right hand of God. God the Father loves you with love that nothing in the world can separates you from. The WHOLE TRINITY is right there. They all work together to take care of you. What a wonderful news. You are blessed.
You will be all right because behind the scene, there is God working hard for you. There is nothing to worry about.
This is what St. Paul said.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
All things work together for good – because God is working so hard for you.
Verse 31 comes to me as a loud declaration!
If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31)
If you believe in God, that absolute God is telling you, he is for you, not against you. That should give you confidence. If God is for me, who or what will be against me?
No one can condemn you. No one can bring any charge against you. No angel, no ruler, no power can stop God who HAS DECIDED TO LOVE you. Even death cannot stop God from loving you.
BUT THE IRONY IS WE ARE OUR WORST CRITIC. We don't love ourselves. We don't accept ourselves. So we have hard time believing that God loves us that much. No matter how much God loves you, if you don't accept the love, the power of love cannot have any effect on you.
Last two weeks, we have reflected on the flesh and the evil. We saw that the flesh is our shadow self and it is deeply ingrained in us. And the evil is very much entangled with the good. We have been always surrounded by the flesh and the evil. We have been always surrounded by these dark forces. That makes it hard for us to love us.
Yes, We were not untouched by these dark influences. We were influenced by these negative thoughts. We made it worse by ruminating and overthinking negative things about ourselves.
We all experience failures and we all make mistakes. Instead of shaking them off and move on, we dwell on our failures and mistakes. They create anger, disappointment, fear, regrets, and heartaches within us.
We have become our own prisoner. We have become our worst enemy. We have become incapable of loving ourselves. We have become slaves of the flesh within us and the victim of the evil around us.
As Mena told me about the song last week, I listened to the song, Monster, by Justin Bieber.
I could feel this tremendous pressure.
You put me on a pedestal and tell me I’m the best
Raise me up into the sky until I’m short of breath, yeah
Fill me up with confidence, I say what’s in my chest
Spill my words and tear me down until there’s nothin’ left
Rearrange the pieces just to fit me with the rest, yeah
But what if I, what if I trip?
What if I, what if I fall?
Then am I the monster?
Just let me know
And what if I, what if I sin?
And what if I, what if I break? Yeah
Then am I the monster? Yeah
Just let me know, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We deal with monster within us. And often we don't win. We just let the monster rule us and dictate us. And we become monster.
Love Your Neighbour as Yourself
Being perfect – it sounds good. But the thing is – It only leaves us with scars. It just makes us more disappointed about ourselves. We either give up or cover up.
A French Enlightenment writer and philosopher, Voltaire said:
Perfect is the enemy of good.
I understand what he is trying to say. Perfectionism only leaves us with disappointment and bitterness. We become very uncomfortable with ourselves.
JESUS SAID, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF. It is quite a profound sentence. He didn't say, just love your neighbour. He said love your neighbour as yourself. He was saying that if you don't love yourself, you cannot love your neighbour. That is not possible.
Love is like a flow of water. When it flows within us, it flows to others. When there is love overflowing within us, then it overflows to others. If you are judgmental to yourself, you will be judgmental to others. If you are abusive to yourself, then you are abusive to others. If you are gentle and kind to yourself, then you can be gentle and kind to others.
Self-love is not selfishness. When you truly love yourself, you can overcome selfishness because you don't need to be so obsessed about yourself. You are so comfortable with yourself that you don't need to think about yourself so much. What you need is not self-esteem. What you need is self-love.
Self-esteem is something you get when you do well and when your life is going all right. But self-love is being kind and gentle to yourself in all circumstances, even when you fail.
Don't make yourself as your enemy.
Dr. Kristin Neff, an associate professor in the University of Texas, Austin, said:
A lot of people think self-compassion is weak, but it's just the opposite. When you're in the (emotional) trenches, do you want an enemy or an ally?
LOVING YOURSELF DOES NOT COME FROM YOUR WILL OR YOUR EFFORT. Negative energy is too strong for you to do that. You will be too critical of yourself. You will feel helpless often when you try to love yourself. Because you can't.
The Spirit will help you.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26, 27)
Even when we are helpless and don't even know what to pray for, the Spirit searches our heart and knows our heart and prays for us with sighs too deep for words.
Being able to love yourself is God's gift. When you truly meet God, you can finally accept yourself. You can even love yourself. Because you realize God's love. You realize how precious you are. You are precious enough for Jesus to die for you.
You realize that God is for you, not against you. You realize that nothing can separate you from the love of God. Even you cannot do that. Then you can stop being so harsh and judgmental against you. Now you can see yourself differently. That is the beginning of salvation and the beginning of healing. You appreciate who you are.
The confession of the Psalmist becomes your confession.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well. (Psalm 139:13, 14)
You find your own beauty. Even when you are imperfect, you will find yourself BEAUTIFULLY IMPERFECT. Don't ever look down upon yourself. That is the greatest sin. It is the sin of looking down upon God's beautiful creation. Then you are ready to love others.
There is a song You are so beautiful to me. I was listening to the version Charles Lloyd and Norah Jones sang.
You are so beautiful
You are so beautiful
Can’t you see
You’re everything I hoped for
You’re everything I need
You are so beautiful
While listening, I heard it as though God is telling me that.
You are so beautiful.