Last week we began talking about the mental health crisis that our world is experiencing, and we noted that Jesus-followers aren’t exempt from the battle.
Over the next several weeks, our goal is to help you become the most emotionally healthy and unshakable version of YOU possible. You can read more about the first choice you can make on the path to establishing emotional health here. (Please keep in mind that if you are currently depressed or in the midst of significant mental health issues, these posts are not designed to be used in place of professional help. Please seek therapeutic counseling or medical care if needed.)
Choosing to love yourself—to become your own best friend—isn’t always easy. There are deep-rooted mindsets, life experiences, words of others, and even trauma to overcome. Here are several biblical love-yourself principles to help you get moving in the right direction.
In his book, Unshakable You: 5 Choices of Emotionally Healthy People, John describes this as “how I talk to myself about myself.” As human beings, we are notorious for telling ourselves how stupid we are, how bad we are at certain things, how unattractive we are, what we hate about ourselves . . . and the list could go on and on. Be kind to yourself. This behavior is the foundation. If you get this right, you’re on your way to better health.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:3 that we should “not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather to think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Now I know you’re thinking this contradicts the previous point. But it doesn’t. The phrase “sober judgment” comes from the Greek word “sopron” which means “to be in one’s right mind” or to think correctly. Humble people possess well-balanced, honest evaluations of themselves—not to be confused with verbally abusing oneself or allowing others to do so.
Embrace God’s opinion of you
He thinks you’re pretty special. The Bible is clear about that. It’s crucial that we truly get in touch with His thoughts about us. Ephesians 1:5 tells us: “In love He adopted us as His sons (and daughters) in accordance with His will and pleasure.” His pleasure? It actually pleased God to adopt us into His family? Yes! When we get God’s opinion of us right, the previous principles become easier. Our emotions become healthier as a result.
Get in touch with your soul
Proverbs 19:8 tells us, “He who gets wisdom loves his own soul.” We are three-part beings . . . body, spirit (that part of us that connects with God, and soul (the mental, emotional and “will” part of our beings). To get and stay healthy, we must learn to care for all three parts of our being. To search out wisdom and apply it wholistically.
Evaluating these principles has made me realize that maybe the 9-year-old version of myself in last week’s post had it right all along. As we move forward in our series on emotional health, let’s pause for a moment to declare out loud: I choose to love myself as Jesus commanded.
Next week we’ll delve into the next choice of emotionally healthy people.
We’re praying and rooting for you!
John & Jaime