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Loving Yourself and Others



February highlights the importance of love, featuring Valentine’s Day and National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Both of those holidays focus on loving others. But for God’s love to flow freely through our lives to others, we have to start by accepting God’s love for us. Far too many people love themselves less than God does. So, this month, I’m encouraging you to see yourself the way God does – as a beloved soul – and let that usher God’s love into your life so you can pass it along to others. Along the way, you’ll experience wonder.


God loves you completely and unconditionally. No matter what you’ve done, God loves you for who you are. You’re “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:114) by your loving Creator. You don’t need to try to earn God’s love; you already have it. But if you’re not fully accepting God’s love – if you love yourself less than God loves you – you’re blocking the flow of God’s love. If you limit how much of God’s love you allow into your life, it won’t flow through your life to other people. So, you need to learn to love yourself well before you can love other people well.


That was a lesson I needed to learn. Growing up, I worried too much and trusted God too little. I thought I wasn’t worthy of God’s love when I made mistakes. Then I learned the truth that 1 John 4:18-19 describes: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” Gradually, I let God’s perfect love drive out fear in my life. The more I did so, the less I worried, and the more I encountered God’s wonder.


Choosing love helps us encounter wonder, because love connects us with God, who is the source of all wonder. God’s core nature is love (1 John 4:8), so when we experience love, we’re really experiencing God. Wonder and love are intrinsically connected.



This month, ask God to help you discover more about why you’re wonderful, and embrace more of God’s love for you. Then you’ll be able to love others more and experience wonder in the process.


Blessings,

Whitney

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