Pulling apart each section of the chapter of love, 1 Corinthians 13, has made me aware of how to love others and myself the way God intended. This particular part of the chapter has been easy for me with others. I have always made it a point to forgive and move on with other people in my life. However, learning to forgive myself and not store the events deep in my mind to use as torture against myself later has proven far more difficult.
Every time I have compared myself to someone else; every time I gained weight instead of losing; every time I “failed” at a task I had set out to do; every time I disappointed someone I love…I hold on to every single little wrong (whether it is actually a wrong or not) and store them away in the complex filing system in my brain. I store them away to be pulled out whenever I need to beat myself up with all the wrongs I have done.
The feeling of not being good enough, the feeling of being a disappointment has plagued me as long as I can remember. I have always strived to be an overachiever because I feel the need to make up for my shortcomings. I have always been the “fat” friend, and I have a horrible time seeing past that label I have placed upon myself. Despite any other adjective I can use to describe myself, fat seems to be the one at the top of my list, and I can’t seem to forgive myself for not being able to control that part of my life.
Out of the filing cabinets in my mind, I pull out all the times I have been told and have felt that I could have been so much better if I wasn’t bigger than everyone else. The truth is, that is a bunch of hogwash, bologna, a flat out lie. The size of my body, the number on the scale, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. We are told not to compare ourselves to others, God doesn’t compare us to anyone else. God made each of us to be individuals and we all have a special part in His kingdom. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
I have memories from a child that I still am holding onto, like a broken toy, that aren’t doing me any good. Just like the toy with broken and sharp edges, these memories are cruel. They sting and bruise my soul, yet I continue to nurture them in my mind. I am allowing them to continue to live and thrive. The records of wrongs, as I see them, are alive and well in my mind. In 1 Corinthians, we see that true love does not feed and nurture such wrongs. We are to allow them to leave our minds as soon as they come inside. True love does not allow all the wrongs of our lives to take up residency in the corners of our mind.
Imagine for a moment how much happier you would be if you sent eviction notices to all the wrong doings living in your mind. Imagine not constantly reminding yourself of the times in your life where you didn’t live up to the expectations you set for yourself. Imagine being able to let all that go and love yourself the way God loves you, the way God intended for you to love yourself.
It is going to take a long time for me to sweep my mind clean of all the records of wrongs in my mind. But I am starting today; the Lord has given us a lifetime of forgiveness and we should give the same to ourselves. I am going to start sweeping all the corners and the cobwebs out of my mind and continue healing my heart and continue learning to love myself deeper.
This week’s recipe is a delicious, light, summery fruit salad. It is a crowd pleaser for sure! It is perfect for church picnics, light summer desserts, or yummy cool snacks. We love it and I am certain you will as well.
“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.” Psalm 103: 10-11