Last week, I began playing around with the Instagram feature, stories, in an attempt to be hip in the social media/business/marketing world. Yes, I realize that using the word, hip, completely contradicts my goal, but I digress.
While doing this, I learned some things, which I divulged in a social media video, which by the way, made me incredibly uncomfortable! Watch the video at the end for more insight.
Long story, short, I discovered that my own insecurities about being on camera, or being seen in general, had begun to rub off on my 8-year old daughter. Not ok.
I turned to the Bible for context, and more information about loving oneself, and made some interesting discoveries. Truth? There really isn't much in the Bible about loving yourself. Why? Well, it is believed to be implied. It is believed that we come by this quite naturally. That naturally, we feed ourselves and clothe ourselves, bathe ourselves, and just generally love ourselves by association.
"After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--" ~Ephesians 5:29
Instead, we are told to, "love your neighbor as yourself." ~Matthew 22:39
Loving ourselves is implied. We are already doing that...right?
Times are a lot different now. Not that it makes the Bible untrue. I certainly don't mean that. However, when you look at the context of this implication, within the Bible, you have no choice but to acknowledge that things were very different. For instance, when Ephesians was written, we are talking about people who were on this earth at the same time as Jesus. Wrap your brain around that! They were not so far removed from the miraculous birth, death and resurrection of our Savior! Then add in the fact that there were no phones, no computers, no TVs, no cameras. You know, the glass mirror still had yet to be invented!?
Fast forward to a day and age where we can compare ourselves to absolutely anyone else on the planet, inundated with photos of celebrities. We can make ourselves over, into someone completely unrecognizable with some great make up and a little know-how. We can look at ourselves in mirrors practically all day, and even take our own pictures within seconds.
But are we loving ourselves? What are we saying to ourselves, and, perhaps unintentionally, to our children? What are we feeding ourselves? Our spirit? Putting into our bodies? Our minds? Our lives?
Somewhere along the line we have tricked ourselves. We've allowed ourselves to believe that loving ourselves actually has something to do with our looks. We've been deceived into believing that embracing our look, our bodies, our physical uniqueness, is self love.
It could quite possibly, be a result of self love, but y'all, we are kidding ourselves with what is truly important. Our looks are seasonal. They are all a part of the season of life we are currently in. The Bible doesn't talk about loving what we look like. The Bible talks about taking care of our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us. It talks about rest (on the Sabbath). The Bible even talks about the importance of hygiene.
So, when we hear, "Love your neighbor as yourself," how do we interpret that, if we do not love our true selves? We can put on our faces, add our filters, and take selfie after selfie, and still not truly grasp this concept, because we are loving the wrong things.
This week, I want to encourage you to pray, and ask God to show you the you that He loves. I am going to do this too! You might be surprised by His answer. It might even come with a call to service. But I pray that you find love for the you that God created, and by extension, stop hiding.
Fearlessly be the you who was so fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
Want the Monday Message sent to your inbox each week? Sign up here!