I was thinking about how we treat ourselves and how it reflects on our relationship with God. The Bible says that if we love Him (the Father) we will love the Son (Jesus). How we react to and treat Jesus reflects on how we see the Father.
John 15:23 “He who hates Me hates My Father also.
1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.
John 16:27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me…
This is true with humans also…I sent something off in the mail to some kids of a friend far away and even tho’ the gift is “for the kids” it is for the mom also. I know that the mom will be “blessed” by me giving a gift to her kids. So, we see the Romans 1 truth about life with God in how we live life with our friends…
So, then if we are God’s children…as in if we ourselves…you and me…if we are children of God then that would mean that how we treat ourselves would reflect on our relationship with God and would have an effect on God.
Just like my friend opening a gift in the mail for her kids can make her heart warm and put a smile on her face, then what we do with ourselves would be like a gift to us and when God “opens” that gift it would put a smile on His face and warm His heart.
We seem to think that only our service to complete strangers (street people we serve in a soup kitchen…or children we support in Africa…etc…) or things we do for people outside our own family (serving the community and our neighborhood or the people around us where we are missionaries)…we seem to think that service to those groups of people is what “pleases God”. But, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?
1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
If we serve others and yet neglect to serve our own family…if we neglect to serve ourSELVES even…we have not put a smile on God’s face and warmed His heart. We’ve grieved Him.
I was thinking that the idea that we are to serve our own family members would be acceptable to people, they could agree, but then when it comes to putting ourSELVES in that category of those who should be served, that old teaching that our flesh is our enemy creeps in and prevents us from understanding this. We have been taught by the church since we started being taught by the church in Sunday School that we were “born sinners” and that our “flesh” is our enemy. Our “flesh” = our “sinful nature” and giving in to it is a bad bad thing.
But, you know, that’s just not true. And, we all know it but ignore this truth.
When we are tempted to sin we feel “icky”. When we are doing right we feel good. Our bodies react to our thoughts and actions in a way that’s supposed to work like a thermometer and reveal to us whether we’re doing right or not. It is a beautiful alarm system that God gave us.
Too many women ignore their alarms and allow their babies to cry believing the Old Wives Tales about spoiling babies by picking them up when they cry. Too many parents ignore their alarms when they feel “sick” and even cry after spanking their children. But, we chooooose to listen to the world rather than to God.
And, likewise, so many people believe that total self-sacrifice and neglect are honoring to God, even though they do not “feel good” about themselves. They believe that “feeling good about themselves” would even be sin! So, they purposely do not dress well, wear make-up or jewelry, they get insufficient sleep, don’t clean their homes, drive junky-looking vehicles, all because they believe that to focus on themSELVES would be selfISH and somehow a dishonor to God. But, none of we earthly parents would be honored if our child was in public with unbrushed teeth, unbrushed hair, unshowered bodies, and frumpy clothes. We’d have to “make excuses” for their appearance…”justify” their appearance. But, when our children look adorable and feel adorable in public, when they look good and smell good, we feeeel proud of them and of the way others see them.
You CAN serve God with all our heart mind and soul AND be clean and beautiful at the same time!
But, we too…ourSELVES…are Children of God. And, if you are not feeling good about yourself and your home and your life…that is your God-given alarm system going off telling you that something is wrong and needs attention…and in this case…the thing needing attention…is you!
If you feel ugly and hate seeing in the mirror, do something to change that. God is not honored when you feel yucky about yourself.
When you see a homeless person on the street lying in their own filth that “disgusts” and “upsets” you and drives you to action…Drives you to try to SERVE that person to change their situation. Seeing yourSELF as ugly in the mirror should drive you to SERVE yourself to change that situation.
Again, the (wrong) teaching that our bodies are naturally “sinful” and only desire to gratify themselves and hurt God kicks in and makes you think that focusing on yourself would be selfish! But, that’s just wrong! You are a child of God and how you care for yourself reflects on how you care about Him!
for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church…
When you love something you take care of it and you do things to make it happy and beautiful. In some sense, you love your Christmas tree. You love getting it out and decorating it and standing back and looking at it during the holiday season. You love dressing your kids up and taking them to church. You love seeing your kids smile.
We all talk about being God’s “hands and feet” to serve the world and make the world happy…and so how can God “dress you up” and see you smile if you refuse to use your own hands and feet to do it for Him?
For God to see you loving your home (cleaning and decorating it) and loving your vehicle (keeping it clean and in presentable condition or buying one you LIKE looking at) and to see you looking in the mirror and feeling love for yourself…For God to see you glowing and looking and feeling beautiful…that’s not something that’s displeasing to Him! It warms His heart and makes Him smile.
If you feel badly about yourself…begin to serve yourself just as you would any other child of God’s…out of love for Him…and the thermometer inside you will let you know when you’ve warmed His heart because there will be a warmth in your own heart and a smile on your own face. And, don’t worry…when you go too far into self-worship, that ceases to feel good…your thermometer will tell you. Your flesh is not your enemy…
Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them (in how our flesh reacts); for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Is it any wonder that there is such a STRONGHOLD in the church TO BELIEVE…to CLING to the doctrine of ORIGINAL SIN which tells you that this beautiful thing God created which makes everything about Him CLEARLY SEEN and UNDERSTOOD and EVIDENT WITHIN US…to teach us that this “flesh” of ours is just sinful from the time we’re conceived and NOT TO BE TRUSTED!!!
Satan is the one who wants you to mistrust your body.
Satan is the one who wants you to ignore that “evidence” that is within your flesh…because “THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED from heaven against all who SUPPRESS the truth…”