“Wait!” you might say. “Aren’t you a Christian? Shouldn’t Jesus be my best friend?”
Absolutely! But we have to let him in. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.”
Do we open the door? Do we open the door to Jesus and his love when we say, “I’m not good enough?” Do we open the door to Jesus, living in our hearts, if we berate ourselves endlessly for our mistakes?
Do we open the door to be compassionate to others if we are not compassionate to ourselves? What would we say to a friend who makes a mistake? Would we tell her how stupid she is? Would we say, “I hate you” to a friend, when he or she apologizes for hurting our feelings?
If your neighbor had a tragedy…or maybe it is something positive that makes her extra busy, like a new baby…maybe you would bring her a casserole or cinnamon rolls, or help or encourage her in some other way. Would we do the same for ourselves? Could we maybe buy ready-cooked food from the deli now and then, or a wholesome treat, when we are extra busy or extra-stressed…without guilt? Whatever the circumstances – whatever way we can nurture ourselves – could we give ourselves a break?
“In order to have a friend, you have to be a friend” we often hear. Yes, and in order to be a friend to someone else, it helps if we are first a friend to the one person we know best, the one person who will be with us always, wherever we are. We are our own best friends, regardless of how we may treat ourselves. Do we treat our best friend kindly?
Let us love ourselves that we may, as Jesus said, “…love your neighbor as yourself,” and that we may “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
God loves you and me. May we love ourselves, that we may experience his love to the fullest, and then go on and share it with the world, one heart at a time.
(The Scripture references are taken from Revelation 3:20 and from Matthew 22:37 & 39.)