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A love worth decreasing for-

A few weeks ago I did a google form on what we as college students are struggling with the most. As I was reading the answers, there was one that constantly came up: loving ourselves. Which is honestly something I have and am constantly struggling with. So when I saw it I thought “might want to avoid this one and leave it to someone else”. Then as I started to read more responses it kept coming up and my heart began to hurt. I started to tear up because I realized how deep this struggle was in not only mine, but almost ALL of our hearts. Something that I wanted to run from facing, was something that God wanted me to run towards. I think He knew on my own I wouldn’t take the time to challenge my heart and dig into His word to find His truth about how to love ourselves. He opened my eyes to seeing others with the same struggles, because He knew running was much more effective and even became fun, when running together. So here it goes. Let’s run.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t instinctively turn to things like Instagram or Snapchat to lift me up or make me feel better about myself. I’d also be lying if I said it didn’t end with me swiping out of the app, feeling defeated and thinking I’m not doing enough in how I look and need to be dieting/working out more/etc or that I’m not carrying myself gracefully because everyone seems to have it all together and have complete control over the 47 things they are doing at once. And then is followed by me anxiously running to do all of those things and hoping that maybe, just maybe, I’ll feel the love for myself that people on social media seem to have.

I look for love for myself in things that are constantly changing. No wonder the love I have for myself is so all over the place- it’s circumstantial. Dependent on how well I perform, how well I can take care of myself, how good I look, how much I post, the list goes on. Mainly because we’ve found a lot of circumstantial things through society and social media that people say our love for ourselves should come from. We are trying to get this societal self-love narrative to replace God’s beautiful love story He’s written for each of our hearts. We are putting ourselves in the center of our worlds, when God should be the center.


“The essence of the Gospel is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less”

- TK


Wow. What a beautiful truth. The Gospel isn’t about thinking more of myself and that I am above anyone. And the Gospel also isn’t about me thinking less of myself because He affirms that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and “precious and honored” (Isaiah 43:4) in God’s eyes. Instead, it’s about thinking of myself less and God more.

Now if you’re me you are thinking well what does it look like to love myself less and God more? How does this apply to loving myself? Especially when I have a hefty amount of flaws/imperfections and those can be pretty overwhelmingly hard to see past sometimes. This verse encompasses the answer to those questions in my head beautifully:


“ He must increase, I must decrease. ”

John 3:30


The Gospel isn’t about us not having flaws or imperfections, it’s about decreasing the amount of time we think about them. And instead increasing the amount of time we think and marvel about His grace, unconditional love, continuous joy, and perfect peace.

The Disciples are the perfect example of this. The Bible doesn’t talk about them finding all the answers and knowing exactly how to love themselves before He went and performed miracles. Think about it: If they would’ve waited for all the answers or for when they loved themselves perfectly we probably wouldn’t have any stories to talk about or maybe even our Faith because they’d never start. They were human. There would always be an imperfection/flaw in them no matter how “perfect” their relationship was with God. What makes them so radical and significant to still be saving people today through their stories thousands of years ago, is that they were empowered by thinking of their imperfections less and God a whole lot more.

The disciples mastered loving themselves. By choosing the greatest form of love to be loved by- God’s love. Choosing to no longer rely on their imperfect, circumstantial, worldly love. But a perfect, unconditional, unwavering love. Choosing that kind of love for myself. A love so beautiful that I would decrease, so through me it would radiate that much more. What a love worth decreasing for-


Questions/Thoughts:


Thinking like this shifts our thoughts when we walk into a room from:

“How do I look?”, “How can I seem cooler?”, “How can I make them like me?”

to

“How can God use me to help ____ ?”, “How can I make ____ feel loved?”, “God use me in this situation for your will”, “even if it doesn’t make me look cool/glorify me”

  • Did you do this in the past? Is it something you want to shift? If so, how?


  • 1&2 are both lies keeping me from loving myself and others, look how quick they got there, just a few scrolls- do you find lies creeping in early through a certain avenue in your life? If so, what is it? How do you think you can limit it?


Use this however you want. Send it to a friend, keep it to yourself, use it for a Bible study with a group of your friends, do with it whatever God puts on your heart! The questions/thoughts at the end are to help you- to challenge you to share with yourself and others. Wish I could be next you you sharing with you as well! But hopefully, you feel like I am!

My goal with these posts/devotionals is that it be raw things I've experienced that I've matched with Truth, so if anyone else feels like this you know you are not alone. It might not be the perfect words for each of you or any of you, but I know for sure there is beauty in unity. Beauty in being #INTHISTOGETHERXX.


XX,

MM

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