Do you ever call yourself stupid?
Do you call yourself an idiot?
Do you condemn yourself for certain things?
Do you get angry at yourself when you fail?
If so, you’re sinning against yourself.
In Matthew 22:36-40, Christ answers one of the Pharisees who poses a question intended to trick Him:
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as you do yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
- The first and greatest commandment is to love the LORD with all our heart, soul, and mind.
- The second is similar, to love our neighbors as we do ourselves.
Oh sure, we’ve heard these commandments. If we practice them, the Scripture says we fulfill all the law and the prophets.
But wait a minute…let’s take a look at that second one again. What was it?
“To love our neighbor as we do ourselves.” Maybe you’ve never noticed that part of the command before. This command tells us that in fulfilling these two great commandments, there are more than just two people to love. Yes, we are to love God and others. But at the end of verse 39, there is another person we are commanded to love: ourselves.
How does that make you feel when you learn that you are to love yourself as God does? Is that an awkward concept? That’s understandable. Our minds, souls, and intuition are upside down from the Fall. We need the plumbline of God’s Word to restore them to right side up.
Inclusive in loving someone is not sinning against them, right? Thus, it follows that-
If we are to love God, we must not sin against Him.
If we are to love people, we must not sin against them.
If we are to love ourselves, we must not sin against ourselves.
Take an objective look at your life, the way you think about yourself and the way you speak to yourself or about yourself. Are you starting to see that sometimes you might be sinning against yourself? Whenever you agree with the enemy about yourself, it’s guaranteed to your detriment.
God loved you so much that He died for your soul. Can you see how sinning against yourself hurts the heart of God?
Think about that.
The condemnation that stirs up against ourselves could be a parental voice that we internalized early on in life. It could be a spirit of perfectionism harassing us. It could come from random standards we impose on ourselves that God does not impose. And of course, it could be a familiar spirit bullying you from your family of origin. It could be one of the above and more.
Whatever the case, important it is to identify these sources as outside influences that are not of God. Thus, since you belong to God, they are not sources you want to entertain anymore.
Recently, I helped a lady struggling with this very issue. I gave her an exercise to clarify her thinking. She made a list of all the condemning messages she gives to herself. It was long! Then, beside it, she listed the corresponding, contrasting truths that God says about her concerning that issue. For instance, her self-condemning message said, “I’m such an idiot.” But God’s truth says, “I am God’s child” (John 1:12).
See God’s truths about you from freedominchrist.com:
Her exercise included writing by hand her name into the verse to personalize it, reviewing the two lists during the next few weeks, and with her free will, deciding what she wanted to believe. She could choose to believe her condemning feelings which come from sources other than God, can’t decipher fantasy from reality and are ever changing. OR she could believe God’s Word which is always perfectly on point and unchanging. Each time she made a firm decision to go with God’s Word over the particular condemnation, she crossed the lie off the list and underlined the truth about herself on the other list. The last time we met, she reported feeling relief and I noticed her countenance had brightened significantly.
Amos 3:3 says, How can two people walk together unless they agree? You want to walk close to God, don’t you? Well then, agree with Him according to the commandments that you want to love yourself as He loves you.
He loves you–> You choose to agree with Him. –> You (learn to) love yourself as He does.
What would it look like if you made a shift? Instead of sinning against yourself, what if you did something else?
How would it be if you started to respect yourself as you do others? What about honoring God’s purposeful design of you as you do others? Maybe learning to accept yourself as you do others?
Romans 8:1 tells us that there is no condemnation left for those in Christ Jesus because He took it all.
There’s no condemnation left for you. None at all. Not even one drop!
Be yourself. If you have problems, get help for them. But don’t condemn or belittle yourself. If God doesn’t do it (He never does), then you have no business doing it. Also, when making this shift, don’t fall for the trick of “condemning yourself for condemning yourself” or for not making the shift as quickly as you may like.
If this feels a bit uncomfortable, God understands. Ask Him for help. Give yourself truth, grace and time. Get a prayer partner to support you. Renew your mind daily in His truth about you. Learn who He has (already) made you in the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Know (for sure) that you may partake of the divine nature every single day (2 Peter 1:4).
This is His good and perfect will for you.
Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as you do yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Amos 3:3 How can two people walk together unless they agree?
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17 If any person is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, new things have come!
2 Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.