We are taught to show hospitality to other people and to reach out with warm hellos and social greetings, extending kindnesses hoping to make others feel better about life and themselves. We cheer them up. We cheer them on. Yet, when I think about it, the one person we oftentimes neglect extending hospitality to is ourselves.
Getting healthily in tune with oneself can feel or seem a bit odd for us as Christians. We aren't used to hearing that. Many along the way have sadly taught and presented Christianity through a distorted lens of, "It's about everyone else first, then you...How you feel about something should not matter...After all, you are to sacrifice for others...You are last... You have to stay humble, right?"
I add here, it is about everyone else and you, beginning with you and your relationship with God Himself through Jesus. You are, not only, included (see Luke 10:27 below) but you are the focus of His affection. Therefore, it is healthy to reflect His sentiment toward yourself in a healthy way. Who are we to disagree with God?
It has to be God first, you, then others. That's the natural flow of things. You and I will serve God and others better when we love ourselves in a healthy way and see ourselves as God created us to be. That is, healthy and accepted Then we can reach out and show others that same love and acceptance. It is hard to give away something that you don't first have yourself.
We exchange, "This is who I am" and "This is my favorite stuff I like," secrets with besties, while people know us at the office at a business-friendly level. However, truly taking the time to nurture and show hospitality to our own selves as Christians might likely be deemed as selfish by others. Thus, head trash.
Transformed Living Action #1:
Ponder what you say to others around you in social settings or work settings. Positive, right?
Ponder what you say to yourself. Is it positive or negative?
One of my favorite scriptures over the past years has been Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Another is, Luke 10:27 (NIV) He answered, "Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself."
Wow, I feel sorry for what the neighbors are going to get in light of what I've seen some people give to themselves in the way of negative treatment, self-talk and putting themselves down, etc. I've observed more people who are down on themselves or who beat themselves up, rejecting themselves, etc.
Sadly, as it goes for self, so it goes for the neighbor.
Try looking at it like this:
Just go ahead and kill perfection…give it a quick death. Get it over with! Everyone will be better for it, starting with you.
I have adopted some new quests in my life at the age that I am enjoying. One is to celebrate and express my femininity, both bountifully and tastefully. I love being a woman and being a Christian woman, all in one. I love being feminine. I am enjoying the fruit of that choice. As my body ages and certain things begin to wind down I plan on winding up my celebrating what God has created in my unique DNA and the journey that He has assigned to me in this lifetime. I love being a Christian woman full of His life and I aim to celebrate it unapologetically, yet humbly at the same time, so that I can be my best for those whom I am called to serve. I'm turning up the celebration and kindness zones so that I can be kinder and more loving to others.
Transformed Living Action #2:
Make a decision to celebrate you and enjoy yourself, as well as others. Don't leave yourself out of that equation. Purposefully accept yourself and be kind to yourself always. Then, watch how you treat others differently, more positively as a result.
Don't say, "I will treat myself better when I have more money," or, "I will love myself when I lose weight," or, "I will like myself when I act a certain way behaviorally." Just agree with me now to stop it; stop the conditional love feast. Free yourself now by beginning to love and like you right here, right now. Then, make the changes you want as you go along. But, never stop treating yourself to goodness and kindness. I believe that it is right, scriptural, fitting AND hospitable to God and yourself.
If God as Creator said, "It is good," then, what pride would entice you to say otherwise? I agree with the Yes & Amen and Creator of the universe concerning you, "It is good!"
A happy, healthy, accepted you promotes a happy and healthier more accepting environment for others around you. I believe that is pleasing to God.
That's how it works.