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Developing a Healthy Relationship with Ourselves
Mark 12:31 Love your neighbor as yourself.
We cannot love others if we do not first love ourselves. We cannot love ourselves if we do not know ourselves. We cannot love ourselves if we are not content with how God made us. For many of us, if we treated others and talked to others the way we treat ourselves and talk to ourselves, we wouldn’t have any friends!
One of the aims of this ministry is to help us grow to know ourselves and to love ourselves. For many of us, that is a long road, but we must start on the journey if we are to enjoy, appreciate, love and feel comfortable with who we are and how God has made us. We must remember that we were created in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27)
We must learn our personality type, our spiritual gifts, our spiritual pathways, our abilities and talents, and understand how all of our experiences have shaped us. Experiences would include our hurts, losses, joys, sorrows, childhood upbringing, parental discipline styles, educational experiences, and vocational and life experiences.
In order to become healthy, thriving, mature, fully devoted followers of Christ, we must, like Jesus (John 13:3), know who we are, where we came from and where we are going. Like Jesus, we must also spend countless hours in intimacy with our Heavenly Father. As we do that, we can learn how to truly receive love and can then extend that love to others. We cannot give away that which we do not have ourselves. We cannot teach that which we have not learned ourselves. We cannot take others to places we have not been ourselves.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
We must learn to carefully and faithfully garden our hearts or they will become dry, dehydrated, weak and anemic with no fruit growing. We must remember that fruit is always visible.
This ministry is committed to helping every person learn who they are, love who they are, and come to the place of allowing God to heal their hearts. There are excellent materials available to help us know our personality, spiritual gifts, etc. Classes can be taught or individuals can work on this on their own. We hope to offer support groups like “GriefShare”, “DivorceCare”, and “Celebrate Recovery”. There are many excellent studies to help us process where we’ve been, where we are, and where we need to go. “Wild at Heart” for men, “Captivating” for women, “Breaking Free” or “Christ-Life Solution” are just a few examples of small group studies that can be offered.
Suggested Bible readings are included with the next topic of developing a healthy relationship with others. All of these readings apply equally to having a healthy relationship with ourselves. If we are to love others the way we love ourselves, then we must be able to not just forgive others, but forgive ourselves as well. We must be patient and compassionate with ourselves. We must build ourselves up and encourage ourselves, etc. In every way that we are told to love others, we need to love ourselves in the same way.
There are also many excellent books that will help us in our journey to wholeness. Please refer to suggested readings.