If God Loves Me, Why Can’t I Love Myself?

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.”  Psalm 143:8

The world teaches us that beauty is only skin deep and if you don’t fit into the world’s standard of “perfect,” then you are somehow not worthy.  God tells us that He is more concerned with our heart than our body.

There are multiple verses in the Bible where God talks about how much He loves each and every one of us.  He doesn’t play favorites, He doesn’t compare, and He doesn’t value our outward bodies more than our inner spirit.  Yes, He wants us to take care of both our body and our spirit, but He loves us the same, regardless of what we look like or what “issue” we are working on presently.  God loves us with real love:  He purposefully chose His Son to die on the cross to allow us a chance to live with Him for all eternity.  The only thing we have to do is invite His Son into our lives and ask Him to be our Lord and Savior.

So…if God loves me (us) that much, why is it so hard to love myself (ourselves)?  Being a bit of a perfectionist, I really struggle with this issue and am working on changing my mindset.  I am very hard on myself.  If my friend makes a mistake, it’s a mistake.  If I make a mistake, it’s the end of the world.  If the scale shows me a number that is not acceptable, I stop eating all junk food or skip meals, punishing myself.  If my friend sees a number that isn’t acceptable, I tell her she’s probably retaining water and watch, it will go back down in a few days.

I am realizing that if God can love me regardless of what the number is on the scale, whether or not I have exercised 3.5 times this week, or if I got mad while driving and said something I regret, then He would want me to love myself too.  Not the kind of self-centered love that the world glorifies – where I am catered to and my every whim is fulfilled.  No…but I should learn to cut myself some slack.  If I got mad in traffic, you know what?  I can learn from that experience and do better next time, and having an audience in the car in the form of my children is good incentive to work hard at improving faster.  If the scale is creeping into (or past) the danger zone, then I can cut back on desserts at every meal and have the occasional treat instead, not punishing myself by complete denial but loving myself enough to get back into a healthy weight range.  I should strive to be healthy and put exercise in my life so I have the energy to enjoy life and fulfill God’s purpose for me, but not beat myself up about missing a day here or there when life gets in the way.

A wise woman told me and I keep reminding myself of this daily, sometimes hourly…If I wouldn’t say out loud to a friend the messages that play internally about myself, then I shouldn’t be saying it to me either.

God doesn’t expect me to be perfect; in fact, He knows that I will never achieve perfection here on Earth…so why should I expect perfection of myself?  Besides, perfection would be boring.

6 Replies to “If God Loves Me, Why Can’t I Love Myself?”

  1. I don’t know why it’s so much easier to cut our friends slack than ourselves. I’ve been trying to do this, and it’s quite lovely. I’ve even taught this to my daughter, who will now look at her less-than-perfect project and say, “Oh, well. We aren’t doing this for the queen.” 🙂

  2. Cheri,

    It’s good to strive for excellence, but we defnitely need to forgive ourselves when we miss the mark. Like you said, mistakes can be a learning opportunity. God convicts, but the devil condemns. I’m preaching to the choir –say NO to guilt!

    Have a Victorious Day!

  3. This is so me WOW I thought I was the only one. Im tired of beating myself and it’s so hard being a mother of 4 two which are teenage girl s I need help

  4. I am very hard on myself and have to learn to forgive myself. I recently wrote an important exam and studied so hard. I went into that exam saying…I studied as hard as I could. I patted myself on the back before the exam started and said how lucky I was to actually be able to sit and write this in the first place.
    Low and behold…I waited for the results in the mail. I opened the letter and missed by 1 mark. That’s right. I got 69. I couldn’t breathe. I reflected on the exam and said to myself….you missed a few questions when you knew the answers.
    I was so devastated..I couldn’t tell anyone. For months.
    I intend on re-writing, as I am allowed. However, satan is doing a good job of making me not desire to write it again.
    That’s how hard I am on myself because of my up bringing.

    1. Sharon,

      I’m so sorry. Satan sure does love to whisper lies for us to believe, doesn’t he? However, the good news is that God is waiting to replace those lies with the truth. I would encourage you to ask your Heavenly Father what lies satan has been whispering to you and then ask Him to replace those lies with the truth. Use the Bible because when God talks to us, He always reinforces it through His Word. And if God gives you a particular verse that speaks directly to you from Him, I would encourage you to repeat it often. God wants to help you exchange those lies from the enemy with His truth that you are loved, valued and His precious child.

      Thank you for reaching out. So glad you are here a part of our family.

      Blessings to you today.

      in Him,

      Cheri 🙂

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