I used to struggle with really putting myself first. Lately though, I have realized that if I am not feeling my best or doing things that help me live my best life, I am doing a disservice to everyone around me. Of course, that statement alone is going to bring out the people who say that “self-love” and thinking of one’s self first is not “christian like”. Let me make something abundantly clear: putting yourself first DOES NOT mean that you are shutting everyone else out or not serving others. I think we get too hung up on the words “putting yourself first”. We likely look at them as face value and don’t unpack what they truly mean. So let’s do that.
I’m sure we have all heard the phrase “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. Meaning, you cannot give to others if you are depleted and you are just trying to get through another 24 hours of life. You cannot give to others if you are negatively speaking to yourself which promotes speaking negatively outward. You cannot show up for people if you are not showing up for yourself. Anything internal you do to yourself is a direct reflection of what you consciously or subconsciously put out into the world. And, if you don’t think so, I want you to re-read and then self-evaluate. Bottom line, you cannot serve people when you haven’t adjusted your reflection on how you want to be served. You know that other phrase that says “Treat others how you want to be treated” or “Love others just how Christ loved you”? How do you know what either of those look like if you don’t take time to reflect on yourself, your actions, and what love means, truly, in your life?
Friends, putting yourself first before other people is NOT the same context as putting yourself first before God. Matter of fact, when you are pouring your heart into letting him help you live your best life by living life for him, and because he has YOUR best interest at heart, aren’t you indirectly allowing God to put yourself first so that you can be a better person to those you love and care for? Let’s really think about this. God DOES NOT want you to hate the temple he gave you to live in by abusing it with food, alcohol, unkind words, drugs, porn, abuse, lack of sleep, allowing people to bully you, allowing people to degrade you, etc. He DOES want you to utilize the tools that he has given you such as the power of no, the power of walking away, loving your body’s capabilities, restricting against things that will harm you, learning how to love, etc. Let me put this plain and simple: If you are allowing people to do unkind things to you, that is against God’s will. If you are allowing yourself to stand by and watch other people idolize things that are not part of the plan, you are also being part of the problem.
Being proud of the body I was given and it’s capabilities and bring proud of getting my mind in a place that allowed me to grow and flourish has been a struggle BUT I could have only done that through God’s love pouring into me and teaching me how to value him first but ultimately myself and the space I take up and how I can show up for others.
I really want each woman (whatever label you have in the world) to read this and know that you are worth showing up for yourself every day. You are worth speaking kindness into your soul first so you can love on others. But truly, you are worthy of loving your body and it’s capabilities that God has gifted you. You are powerful. You are worthy. But most of all, you. are. loved.