In the New Testament a man asks Jesus to tell him what the two most important laws are. Jesus responds that we are to love God above everything else, and we're to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Nowhere in Jesus' statement does he say we aren't to love and accept ourselves. He assumes that we serve and give to others out of the abundance of who God made us to be—it's a healthy love and self-acceptance that allows us to love others.
In this issue we look at that oft-misunderstood and misapplied practice of self-acceptance.
In order to fulfill God's call on us to love others as ourselves we have to learn who we are.
Too many times we cover that over with labels. I'm a doctor. I'm a mom. I'm a cashier. I'm a … We say what we do and we make that who we are.
And so in this issue we talk about stripping all of that away, standing naked, so to speak, in front of God, and allowing him to help us become fully who he made each one of us to be.
You may be a wife, mother, friend, physician, teacher. Those are all roles you play—and they're all good. But they aren't who you are at your core. At your innermost being, you are a child of God, created in his image, called and designed with special, unique spiritual and personality-driven gifts, loved intensely and unconditionally "just because."
Accepting that understanding and living it out full-on gives you the ability to love others Jesus-style. It also allows you to experience the freedom of soaking up God's call on your life and then going out and making a huge difference in your families, churches, and communities.
You can do that. Your life can make a difference when you accept and live out who God designed you to be. After all, it's what you were born to do.