Self love – Discovery
I recently posted a message on the subject of hope. In that message, it was mentioned that hope is one of the most important things that a person can have in their life. According to scripture, faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. This means that faith is the material component for hope and it is the proof of the things that haven’t come into existence yet. Scripture also reads that faith without works is dead, but we must also note that faith works by love. Therefore, we can conclude that love is a root to faith, which connects us to the things that we desire in our life. With that being determined, we will take a look into the different layers of love and its importance in our daily lives. Love is far more important than we give it credit. God is love, therefore, to understand God we need to understand the different forms of love.
When most people think of love, they think of the common expression of love such as romance, which is known as “eros” in the greek language. This is the origin of the term “erotica”. Another form of love is brotherly love, or love for humanity/fellow man (phileo). Hence, we have the word philanthropy for the love of humanity and the name Philadelphia, for the City of Brotherly Love. Next, we have storge love, which is the type of love that a parent has for a child (which comes very natural). Lastly, we have agape love. This is the unconditional God-type of love. Agape love is unqualified love. It cannot be earned, and no conditions are attached to it. Agape love is a love that’s rooted in forgiveness. This type of love is the ultimate form of love that can ever be displayed. It’s extremely sacrificial.
Of all forms of love, one of the most over-looked forms is self-love. Generally, we are taught that self-love is selfish, but I hope to change that perception. The self-love that I’m referring to is not selfish. It’s not the type of love where a person showers themselves with gifts or putting themselves first before everyone else. Showering yourself with material things, without having an understanding true love of self, can lead to a feeling of emptiness. King Solomon (the richest man on Earth) referred to seeking many possessions as vanity and documented that it cannot fulfill a person. Material items can’t satisfy a void in the emotional body of a person, only divine self-love. Self-love is also very important because it leads to happiness. This happiness allows people to freely love on others. It’s difficult to love others when you haven’t learned to love yourself first. Accordingly, scripture commands us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength” and to “love your neighbor as yourself”. How can we appropriately love our neighbors if we haven’t discovered how to love ourselves?
So what is divine self-love? Divine self-love is about recognizing and discovering who you are (or you were created to be), and never denying what the creator made you to be. Until this discovery is made, a person can aimlessly walk around life feeling like they’re playing life out of position. If God designed you to be a hammer, but you’re living your life as a screw driver, you will live a very inefficient, frustrating, restless and discontented life. Discovering your gifts (the things you have a knack for) and your passion will be one of the best revelations you will ever receive in life. In that discovery, you will identify the path for your purpose. Your purpose will always bring you enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, or excitement, comes from the greek word “entheo”. Entheo means “God on the inside of you”. It is a compound of the words “en” (meaning inside) and “theo” (meaning God). Therefore, when you’re following your enthusiasm, you’re also following God. What a powerful revelation!
When you follow your passion and the things that excite you, you’re actually following God’s GPS on the inside of you. It’s just that simple. What complicates our lives is when we follow money instead of our passion. Scripture reads that “the LOVE of money (or greed) is a root to all evil”. Note, it did not read that money is evil. It stated that the love of money is a root to evil. Because of this type of perverted love, or greed, people regularly sell themselves out daily. Instead of following their own GPS or blueprint for their life, they’re looking at the lives of others and making comparisons on how they should live their lives. In other words, they weren’t bold enough to follow their own path to success or greatness. Instead, they followed the masses.
Scripture also reads that “wide and broad is the path that lead to destruction, but narrow is the path that leads to life”. That verse isn’t only referring to salvation and eternal life, but it can also be a reference to your individually tailor-made path for getting to your promised land. Your custom made path will bring happiness and yield good results, while following the masses can lead to a life of frustration and dysfunction. In closing, daily prayer, writing down the visions of hope that God gives you, embracing who you are created to be (self-love), working by faith (fueled by your passion and enthusiasm), will allow you to be the best “you” that you can possibly be. In doing so, you will be able to freely express brotherly love, family love and romantic love without any inhibition, but it all starts with discovering divine self-love. Amen.