It was a crash-and-burn kind of day right out of the starting gate. I woke to do my DietBet weigh in. And in all honesty, I knew it was not going to be a good event. It has been a week where I have repeatedly exerted my will over God’s will. So, yes, I gained weight: 1.2 pounds to be precise. I tried to justify it in so many ways over the course of the morning. Things like: I was wearing clothes that were heavy; the scale was moved to the kitchen and that threw it off. Oh my, let’s just accept the fact that I did not honor God all week with my eating, and it showed. BIG TIME.
One concept that has begun to actually take some root in my brain is a concept of love. I have a pretty poor self- esteem level. And I have heard the adage that poor self esteem is actually pride. And while I honestly cannot even make that make sense to me, I have a feeling that it has something to do with the amount of time one might spend thinking about self, good or bad.
So let’s start looking at this whole idea of non-self-love as SIN. God tells us to love our neighbors AS OURSELVES. That assumes self-love, right?
So in Greek, the language of the New Testament, there are numerous words for love. I sure which the English language was as rich as the Greek language. One word for love is phileo. It refers to a “tender affection”, like you might have toward a super good friend. The person entrenched in phileo love gets fueled by the giving of affection because it makes the recipient so excited. Think of something you might do to make a friend happy. Doesn’t it make you happy to make them happy? Haha, that is how phileo love works.
But phileo love can be a bit wishy-washy. If your friend makes you mad, that touchy feely love is gone.
Another type of love is agape love. This love involves a choice, and is unconditional. It is the love that covers all wrongs in Proverbs 10:12. Agape is the word used in the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. But what is funny here, is that it is the word used not only for how to feel toward your neighbor but also how to feel toward yourself. God created us to love ourselves unconditionally.
What exactly does that look like?? One definition of agape is “to seek the highest good of the recipient” and if the recipient is yourself, you should be looking out for your best.
Where agape love is concerned, your will must come in to play. You have to make the decisions needed to be in love. So when my hatred for self overwhelms me, I need to avoid sin by choosing to do the things that will show myself love.
Now, one thing I was thinking about was the idea that agape and phileo love can co-exist. We show a family member the touchy feely phileo love most of the time. But when they do something that really rubs us the wrong way, unless we have agape love for them deep down inside, the relationship will suffer greatly.
And honestly, to love yourself with a phileo love would just be so wrong. It would mean only feeling good toward yourself if you toed some self-made line. For me, the bottom line is I will choose to love myself even if I am fat. I will choose to love myself even if I binge on something. I will choose to love myself even if I perform the same old sin for the 45th time and have to approach the God of the Universe for forgiveness. I will choose to love myself when I gain weight that week. Yep, it has been a day of preaching to the choir!!
All that is easy to say, but SO. HARD. TO. DO. In fact I am not sure I know what to do with it. For now, in my head, it makes a lot of sense. But how do I put action into it. What do I DO that shows God that I love myself? How do I avoid the pitfall of self-hatred? Not sure, but knowing that God made me able is helpful.
God created me as a beautiful temple to house HIS Spirit in me. He asked me to take care of that Temple, so I need to work harder on that. What I appear like on the outside matters?? I am not sure how to get myself to actually care about that to a greater degree, but I must.
To be perfectly honest, even the scale pictures give me an honest to goodness stomach ache. Really. The fat feet, etc, etc. I spend so much time wondering how I let this happen. And that is the thought processes that cause me so much self-hatred…