“My dear children,
let’s not just talk about love;
let’s practice real love.
This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.
It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism,
even when there is something to it.
For God is greater than our worried hearts
and knows more about us than we do ourselves.”
1 John 3:18-20 Message
Let’s not just talk about love – let’s LIVE LOVE! Love is more than an emotion, love is an action. It may be easy for you to show love to others, but hard for you to show love to yourself. However, try! Give yourself grace and you will also receive peace.
Love is “the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism”. Do you have debilitating self-criticism? We can talk ourselves into “not enough” in any area: maybe we aren’t not good enough parents or maybe we are not good enough writers or maybe we aren’t good enough prayer warriors or maybe we aren’t good enough singers or maybe we aren’t good enough fill-in-your-own-blank-here.
Once we convince ourselves that we aren’t enough, the next step in that downward spiral is shame or embarrassment. We create walls between us and the people around us. We hide because we are afraid someone else might realize our lack. From there, we step into comparison – and trust me, we can always find someone who IS enough and someone who CAN do successfully all the things we can’t do. Finally, we convince ourselves that we don’t have anything worthy to give, and we stop giving altogether.
Before you think to yourself, “Well, I was worse than that, you don’t know…..” Look at the end of John’s phrase: love is “the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it”. Okay, so maybe you deserve the criticism – we all fall short. Refuse to allow criticism to turn into condemnation – the Lord wants you to grow and He wants to help!
I have another thought: we cannot put up walls between ourselves and people without also putting up walls between ourselves and the Lord. If we are hiding and not loving others with the love that God lavishes upon us, isn’t it in some way disobedient? Let’s learn to accept love so we can give love!
Knowing that God loves you, even if you think you deserve harsh criticism – that’s a treasure. It will lead to freedom and I’m praying that you find it today! ❤