Because of my burnout I spent a long time in therapy. At some point I discovered that I was far too concerned with what other people think of me and what the world expects of me. The medicine of therapists and psychologists nowadays often comes down to the following: “It’s not about what people think of you and what the world expects of you, it’s about what you think of yourself!” This seems to be the solution to be at this time. I found out there’s a trap in this.
Self-love is a popular theme today. I believe in it, 100%, but there is also a danger in it. Love for yourself, just like getting your identity from what other people think of you or from your career, is not a sustainable source for your identity. Paul reveals to us a revolutionary path to the fulfillment of our identity in 1 Corinthians 4:3-4. He says here: “In my identity, I don’t care what people think of me, I don’t care what the world expects of me, but I am no longer concerned with what I think of myself. The judgment of whether I am anyone or matter lies in God’s pronouncement of me.” Wow.
I discovered, no matter how good the therapist’s advice was, that I couldn’t meet my own standards either. My opinion of me also fell short. If I didn’t reach my own bar, I judged myself. If I then lowered the bar for myself, it felt like failure. But how do we get to that location of that sustainable Source?!
A new commandment
Jesus says in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you: Love your neighbor as I have loved you.” What was the old commandment? Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus also knows that drawing on one’s own love is a well that also dries up. That is why He calls us to first be connected to Him. First to receive his love and to pass on that love. Do not draw from a source within yourself, but a Source whose water gives eternal life. From his love for you comes love for yourself.
The person whose opinion matters most loves you unconditionally, you are his masterpiece. From that unconditional love, you can also love yourself unconditionally and then let that love overflow to the other. A love that never runs out because God’s love for you never runs out. Love your neighbor as Jesus loves you.
The aim of God’s love
It all starts with God’s love. I have learned to receive God’s love by simply stopping and asking God to minister to me with His love. One of my favorite speakers Bill Johnson taught me to make myself ‘The aim of God’s love’; the target of his love. What does this look like? When I struggle with myself again, I sometimes rigorously put my car aside and become silent for a moment. I close my eyes, open my hands and ask God to fill me with his love. I make myself, as it were, a dartboard onto which God can shoot his arrows of love. Sometimes it takes a while but He is always there. From that love of God arises love for myself and for others. Give it a try, be quiet for a moment and ask God to fill you with His love.
Growing in your relationship with God
Perhaps you find shaping your relationship with God very difficult, perhaps you have lost the fire of first love or you long to go even deeper into intimacy with our Papa. Whatever your current situation, this is what you were made for! We are happy to help you. We have decided to dedicate our very first free open course in our new hall to the most important theme of all: your relationship with God. This is the foundation of our organization and the basis of everything we do. In 3 Wednesday evenings we will take you on a wonderful journey of discovery towards a deeper relationship with God. No system or method, no guilt or straitjacket, but growing in a close and heart-warming bond with the Most High. A unique love bond full of trust and surprise as the Song of Songs puts it: ‘I am my love’s and my love is mine’ (Song of Songs 6:3). Especially when the dark months come again, it is important to return to this. So don’t hesitate and register today via this link: Growth courses – Royal Mission
I hope to see you in November!