I spend a lot of time listening to people who are struggling. Sometimes a Christian will struggle even more than others because they have an unbalanced view of God, life and what Jesus did for us… and what we still have to do. The deeper the damage, sometimes the deeper the passivity and immobility.
In other words, when someone is very damaged they rely very deeply on Jesus and have may have very great faith… but still they struggle terribly. This post explains the need for a biblically based balance in our lives. The bible itself describes the components we need to have. We need all of them, together. I’ll explain…
If a person has low self esteem they may be highly focussed on loving God and loving others, but they may choose not to love themselves. They may see themselves as unimportant to God, they may think He wants them to “deny yourself” or “I must become less (while He becomes more)” and in fact those may be some of their most quoted verses. Plus “its not I that lives (but Christ in me)” may be frequently quoted as well.
If the emotional damage goes deeper – where their very survival was threatened – they may have gone further with their thinking and they may have decide that we are called to only love God and have “faith”, but not even love others and not love themselves. They may not realize that this is how they think, they just focus exclusively on God alone.
This kind of thinking is a survival strategy, because the person wants God to save them (and they usually don’t want to be saved by anyone else).
Their fav verse may be “return to your first love” but because the haven’t experienced real love in their lives, they confuse romance with love. They therefore see God as a romance – and their Christianity becomes highly emotional and terribly unbalanced. They experience emotional swings from excitement to dis-illusionment. Music is relied on to lift them up on bad days.
Love God, others, self
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matt 22:37-40 (see also Deut 6:5 and Lev 19:18)
What is missing is biblical balance. We need all three, not just our fav one. We can only really perform well in our lives when we love God AND ALSO love others AND ALSO love ourselves. All three (God, others, self) are needed to function in a balanced way as a human being. The bible says so! For more of my writing on this see Why does the bible say to love yourself?
Faith, hope and love
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love – 1 Cor 13:13 (see also Col 1:5, 1 Thess 1:3, 1 Thess 5:8)
The same problem can be seen in the balance needed for faith, hope and love. We may value faith over love or hope, but then we have problems later on. Some problems are healed by loving yourself enough to have boundaries to protect yourself. Some problems need hope to be given by a kind trusted friend. Some problems can only be dealt with by having faith in the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.
Law, grace and truth
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:17 (see also John 1:14, Col 1:6 , 2 John 1:3)
Another three concepts that must be kept in balance is law, grace and truth. Law in it’s very nature is religious and puts us into bondage if we don’t add grace (aka love/compassion). But grace doesn’t make sense without law. Together the law of Abraham plus the grace of Jesus Christ make up TRUTH.
If you only focus on law, you won’t get it. If you only focus on grace you won’t get the whole picture, you won’t even understand WHY you needed to receive grace. If you can see both you can receive truth.
We need a biblical balance in our every day lives. We need to combine things and keep them together in balance.
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Thank you for this post. I was bought up in the church but lost faith in my teenage years due to stress and family separation and neglect from my loved ones. Your post helped me realise that the is a God. Trying to learn to love God, myself and others around me. It’s a struggle but i hope the Lord we lead me to that peaceful life.
My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally
right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!
I do consider all the concepts you have introduced to your post.
They are very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless,
the posts are very brief for beginners. Could you please extend them a little from next
time? Thanks for the post.
You are right that this post is an overview. To get more deep, pls keep reading the other posts that are attached to it.
God bless you, Mark.
On Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 1:47 AM, Faith + Hope + Love
I find it hard at times to love myself because of the way others treat me. Some peoplemake me feel like a nobody and dont see what I do right, they judge me for what I do wrong. I am a born again christian and Love God. I feel on this earth that te people who love me most are my kids and husband but yet how can you love yourself when others dont show their love or you?
Only YOU know what and who you love and only YOU know yourself. If you base your love of self upon others… you will never win. “The more you can love yourself, the more you can love others” and the more people you can allow yourself to love, the more people will love you, but it ALWAYS starts with YOU and not the other way around. Thanks for sharing you thoughts with the world Tasha, the world loves you and you will see and feel it when you give yourself permission to.
With much love and respect,
I really have to learn to love myself… But how? The top of your post really described me…
How… great question. Keep reading, I have written a lot of posts encouraging people to have good boundaries and to take care of themselves. Keep reading. I did it. You can do it too! 🙂
God bless you, Mark.
i broke my arm and the holy lord has seen me through this expericence.
i love the holy lordddd, can i get an amen!
I need to learn
We all do Margy 🙂 And we have a Teacher who was sent to help us learn! Isn’t that wonderful?
1. love god
2. love your self
3. and love others
Thank you for the article. I have been struggling with this a lot lately. It’s because of a lot of abuse that I have suffered. It does draw me to Jesus more, but He does not want me to continue to suffer. thank you
I have really enjoyed your courage.may God bless you abudantly and encourage you bodies,spirit and souls
Thank you for this article. I think that I have had a very unbalanced view of God and of Love your neighbor as yourself.
If I make terrible mistakes in my life, I reap the consequences. God will help me to make better choices, but I will still have to suffer for the choices I have made. I don’t believe God wants me to suffer so badly, but I still have self will.
Thank you again. I do believe God helps those who help themselves is true.
I feel the same way.