I was thinking this morning, learn to be kind to yourself, you don’t have to do, do, do, you don’t have to get certain things done by a certain time, you don’t even have to indulge in endless activities for the children – that does not make a good parent as far as I’m concerned. Giving time is better I think…However, I then started thinking, is this biblical? I thought, the bible tells us to “die to self” but then God’s grace is for all and he also says to love others as you love yourself.
How does he tell us to love? Love as he has loved us.
How has he loved us? An innocent man (God) died for us, in our place. Through this we have forgiveness of every sin, we have life – before we come to Christ we are dead in our sins and transgressions. We have restoration and freedom, we are back to how it was before the fall. We can walk with God in the garden. Jesus removes the barriers to God, all of them. We have healing, which seems to come in a variety of forms. The main one as I see it is of being restored to God, of the gap being filled, our purpose in this life being revealed. God’s healing is truly holistic, he heals the root causes and true healing then follows. God never papers over the cracks and is always truthful with us, lovingly truthful. God always listens to us and delights in us coming to him, he answers prayer. He delights in us being us (he made us). In short, he heals, he loves, he restores, forgives, accepts, changes us, listens, redeems, comforts us, counsels us, gives us wisdom and grace. I have probably left some points out, but you get the gist.
So how does this translate, before I go off at a complete tangent? How am I supposed to love myself and others without being self seeking and self absorbed? This is the famous scripture that is read at so many weddings:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends…
(1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
Doing this without the power of the holy spirit as far as I can see is hopeless. This is the template for love and how it is possible to love and as far as I am concerned it is an amazing checklist. No more fakey, kiss, kiss, type of love, but real, tangible, raw love. Love that requires sacrifice and perseverence, not fake smiles. Love that lasts.
I suppose all this love stuff, also goes hand in hand with the fruits of the spirit – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control” (Galatians 5:22-23). So, I guess the trick is, abide in God, know who he has made you to be, ask for the fruit of the spirit and follow him. Aha! so easy 😀 haha.
So, back to the original question? is it biblical to be kind to yourself? I guess it is as long as it is being kind and not just indulging your each and every whim. I know I need to look after myself and in particular get rest, because if I don’t everyone suffers! The aim of being kind to myself should really be to show God and His love to others…not just for me to sit here thinking of ways to indulge myself. Outwards facing, not inwards….
On another note, we are definitely off to Ireland next week! I am so excited, I’ve never been before! So many adventures this year, a very different year to previous ones! Life has most definitely been an adventure since knowing God, but this year, things have changed again. “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wonderful deeds…” (Ps 98:1)