For so long I misunderstood the message of salvation and sharing it with another person has been difficult for me. I struggle with the right words to say even though I know them by heart, because I had things twisted and turned around in my mind.
The message of the gospel hadn’t balanced itself out in my life. I was putting too much weight on one truth and not enough weight on another equally important truth. Once I balanced it all out, it started making sense to me.
I have been a Christian for many years and I know that God loves me and that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross closed the gap between God and me.
But my life was riddled with insignificance and I fell short of loving, giving and caring for others the way I wanted too. I tripped over jealousy, comparing myself to others and a selfishness that tied me to the fear of not being good enough and the ensuing rejection that was guaranteed after my attempts to be included.
Last week, I read a post by Kris Vallotton, a prophetic writer and teacher, entitled “13 signs that you’re humble.” And, it had the missing piece that has allowed me to share the gift of the gospel and Christ’s work on the cross easily.
I understood the need for redemption and a Savior to close the gap of sin between me and God. But the part that I needed to balance out the message of salvation was this:
Once I became friends with God, I needed to then become friends with me. As a result of God’s love and total acceptance of me, I now needed to accept and love myself.
All I can say is that this ‘wowed’ me’ because understanding what receiving God’s love means is crucial. I had the guilt and shame part taken care of by the blood of Christ, but I was sadly lacking in understanding this next step.
According to Vallotton, true humility happens when we focus on loving ourselves (self-love).
We can only love our neighbor at the same level we love ourselves. Your behavior toward your neighbor is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. The best thing you can do for those around you is to “love yourself.”
What is self-love?
It is understanding that we were created in the image of God and that we can freely love ourselves. Here is how Vallotton describes it:
It is hard to believe that this is true, but this is exactly what Jesus said: