God loves you
You’re not perfect, but because you love Him and desire to know Him more and more, you are being perfected day-by-day. Be lead by the Spirit and inspired by the women of the Bible, not intimidated by them.
We hear a lot of talk about the comparison trap we fall into because we spend so much time on social media. But we can also get so deep into Bible study that we get caught in the comparison trap with the women of the Bible without even realizing it.
Some of my favorite women are Hannah, Esther, Rahab and Ruth. Their courage and faith inspires me and yet I find myself thinking “Wow, I don’t know what I would do if I was in their situation.” I think, “If I was faced with the same trials and obstacles…could I respond the way they did?”
Here’s why I love these women….
Hannah, who’s very name means “grace”, suffered through infertility and ridicule from both Peninnah and Eli the priest. But instead of giving up, she chased after God, surrendering and making Him a promise, which she kept, by giving Him back her hearts desire after He blessed her with it. (1 Samuel 1-2)
Esther, was an orphan who risked her life to do what was right and saved His people from genocide. (Book of Esther)
Rahab, despite her sinful past, she trusted God, acted with courage and ended up not only being listed in the hall of fame of faith, but also in the genealogy of Jesus. (Joshua 2, Matthew 1:5-6, Hebrews 11:31, Matthew 1:5-6)
Ruth to me is a woman of great character. She experienced the emotional pain of becoming a widow at a young age. She was selfless and loyal, loving and kind. She made a vow to Naomi, which she kept and ultimately her willingness to be used by God and to listen to the advice of Naomi, placed her in the family line of King David and ultimately Jesus! (Book of Ruth, Matthew 1:5-6)
…and don’t even get me started on the portrait of the virtuous woman that King Lemuel describes in Proverbs 31. When I start to compare myself to all these women I wonder, how can God love little ‘ole me?
But I want to encourage you, as I encourage myself, that God loves you. He is not comparing you to any of His other daughters. He created you, with love, just like He created them. He created you for a special purpose and it’s just as important as theirs.
“The impact of your life, your purpose, might seem small to you, but it’s not small in God’s big plan.
I am 100% convinced that Rahab and Ruth had no idea they would be in the genealogy of Jesus. They did what they did by faith not because they knew how things would turn out. And now, we have the benefit of seeing how important those choices and decisions were. We can look back and see how much God loved them and why He allowed everything that they went through.
Their pain had a purpose. Sometimes we let the enemy convince us that our pain means God doesn’t love us or He is somehow punishing us for something we’ve done. But let these women be examples, that God allowed their pain because He not only loved them and called them according to His purpose, but also because He loves you.
He loves you so much that even way back then He was orchestrating things for our good. Their pain led to Jesus walking among us. Their stories captured in the Word of God encourage us today.
These women were not perfect. Rahab was a prostitute. But God loved her still and created her for a special purpose in HIStory.
He has a special purpose for you too.
“No matter what you’ve done in the past, or where you are in your life right now, He loves you.
Like Rahab, I’m not perfect and you’re not perfect either Sis, but He loves us just the same.
How do you Love Yourself?
You might be thinking, I love myself….I don’t hate myself. Actually I hope that is what you’re thinking, because I want to challenge you to act like it.
Unless you’re in a deep depression, I think most people generally love themselves, but we just don’t act like it. I’ll be transparent and use myself to explain what I mean.
I love myself, but I don’t give myself enough rest. I love myself, but I don’t exercise regularly. I love myself, but I often skip meals because I’m “too busy”.
Can you relate?
“Love God, love your neighbor and don’t forget to love yourself.
Do you love yourself, but can never make space in your busy schedule for self care? Do you love yourself, but put everyone else’s needs first and feel like you’re always on the edge of burn out? Do you love yourself, but have a hard time putting up healthy boundaries in your life? Do you love yourself, but hold back from going after your dreams because of fear or insecurities?
Then yes, you do love yourself, but you’re not acting like it! It’s time. It’s not selfish to love yourself as long as you love God first. When you love Him 1st, then everything else can fall into the right order of priority. I’m not advocating that you stop caring for other’s needs, but what if you made that errand or project or meeting wait for an hour (or even 30 minutes) so that you could take a lunch break? What’s the worst that could happen? I bet you you’d feel better and actually be more prepared mentally, emotionally and physically for whatever it is that needs to get done.
Actually research shows that this is true. Taking breaks increases productivity and creativity and can reduce stress and exhaustion.
So taking breaks is a simple way you can love yourself.
Let’s put this idea into action…
Complete this sentence:
I love myself and I could show it by…
This might not be an easy sentence for you to complete, but take your time and really think about it. Think about what you do for other people to show them you love them. Think about what God does to show you He loves you. Now how could you do those same things for yourself? Your answer might be physical like taking a break or your answer might be mental or emotional like forgiving yourself or letting yourself make mistakes.
Whatever your answer is, I encourage you to write it down on a piece of paper and read it to yourself daily. I encourage you to make changes in your behavior that reflect your commitment to loving yourself. Because God already loves you, so it’s time for you to act like you love you too.
Do you treat yourself like you treat those you love?
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.