“Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”James 3:11
I can remember a time when my oldest daughter came home from school with a bully issue. Now, if I’m being honest with you, my initial response was that of a momma bear that wanted to march right down to the school and cause a scene, but what would that have accomplished? What kind of role model would I be for my daughter if I flew off the handle?
A quote I once heard came to mind- hurting people hurt people. What someone keeps on the inside is what ultimately spews out of them. The bully issue resolved on its own and no action was needed, but during that time, I did my best to guide Riley through understanding why people do what they do.
Have you ever been talked down to by someone important in your life? When someone we love says hurtful things to us, the sting feels different. Sometimes it is easy to brush off the hurtful words of others, but sometimes those words seem to become a part of us. We adopt a new belief about ourselves that was never true in the first place.
To start loving others, we must first learn to love ourselves and deal with any underlying issues we may have that are hindering us from seeing ourselves through the lenses of Christ. Learning to love ourselves isn’t always easy. Sometimes it requires us to dig deep and ask hard questions about ourselves. If you allow God into this process, He will reveal things to you that you never saw coming. There will be messy times, but there will also be some of those “ah-ha” moments when you begin to understand why we act the way we act.
Proverbs 17:22 says: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Friend, do you have a cheerful heart? Or has life found a way to crush your spirit? Do you tend to look on the bright side of things? Or are you always looking for the next disappointment?
Life may not always be good, but there is still good to be found in life. Being happy is a choice. Now, I’m not saying it is an easy choice, but it is a choice, nonetheless.
Learning how to love ourselves begins with how we speak to ourselves. What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you feel proud of who you’ve become? Or do you pick yourself apart?
James 3:11 asks the question: “Can both fresh water and saltwater flow from the same spring?”
A peach tree doesn’t produce apples, it produces peaches. Whatever comes out of you reflects what is in you. If hurtful words spew from your mouth, it is because you are hurting on the inside. Who or what has hurt you? Be honest with yourself. Are you allowing a past hurt to dictate who you are becoming? If so, friend, I urge you to leave it at the foot of the cross. Pray Psalm 139:23-24 over yourself and ask God to help you with your struggles: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” King David knew that, in order to be the kind of person God needed him to be, he would need to ask for God’s intervention in his own heart. Just start there and see what God reveals to you.
Something else I find interesting is how using daily affirmations can alter your brain chemistry. Exposing yourself to positive statements can instantly boost your mood. Speak these truths into your life daily and see if you notice a difference:
Here are a few behaviors that can help change your thought pattern:
- Read your Bible and learn about God’s love for you.
- Use daily affirmations and speak truth into your life.
- Express gratitude to God for everything you do have and are capable of instead of focusing on what you wish you had or wish you could do.
- Exercise and move that magnificent body of yours! Movement helps clear the mind and make you feel physically better.
Thank you for loving us the way you do. Teach us to see each ourselves the way you see us. Search our hearts, Lord, and help us overcome any obstacle that might be standing in the way of being who you created us to be.
Today, I pray for my friend reading this, that they may let go of past hurts and stop letting it define their actions today.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Past Blog Posts:
For God So Loved the World…
Have you allowed God to call you out of the tomb yet?
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…
What comes out of our mouth is fruit, good or bad. Are you words sweet and refreshing? Or are they rotten and bitter?
What God Says About Us
To better understand how to love others and ourselves, we need to understand how God views us.
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