Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 40 : Love Your Neighbor | Day 275

Love Yourself Correctly!

Even though she was a former Miss America, she hated some of her physical features. The problem was that they were not features she could change. They were part of God's design when He created her and formed her in her mother's womb.

David declared, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:15-16).

When we reject our design, we also reject our Designer.

Self-rejection is often caused by comparing our unchangeable characteristics to those of others. Paul warned, “... But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (II Corinthians 10:12).

In order to love ourselves correctly, we must be able to accept and thank God for our unchangeable features. These include our parents, birth order, brothers and sisters, nationality, ethnic origin, time in history, basic physical features, mental capabilities, and length of life. David's response to the Creator was: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).

If we reject the way God designed us, we will tend to ridicule and reject God's design of others. As I have counseled teenagers over the years, many have acknowledged that they felt awkward and embarrassed about some of their physical features. In order to divert attention away from themselves, they would mock someone else's appearance. What a hurtful action toward God and others!

We cannot fully love others without first learning to accept the way God has made us.

Isaiah described the relationship between God and man when he said, “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8). Each pot is different, but each one is carefully designed, shaped, and molded for specific uses in His household. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Rather than seeking to change the unique outward characteristics that God predetermined for us, we should seek to have our inner man transformed into the image of Christ through the renewing of our minds and the development of His character in our lives.

We can take a big step toward loving our neighbor by first thanking God for the way He designed us. If we have rejected any aspects of His design, let's sincerely thank Him for them and begin to look for the ways that He intends to use them to benefit our inward character and accomplish His purposes in our lives. Then, let's choose to view others as the masterpieces that God made them to be.

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard