Written by: Megan Krueger

Morning and evening meditation

Read: Luke 5:1-11;27-31

Pray: If you’re feeling unloved, lacking confidence or trust in Jesus’ love for you in any area of your life, or you are struggling to accept yourself as you are, ask the Lord to reveal to you who your identity is in Him. Ask Him to help you to accept His love, and show you how to love yourself as you are, so you can grow in Him and show His love to others.

Devotional

Read: Luke 5:1-11;27-31

I have always struggled with two things in my life; body image and not being good enough. Both of these things have greatly influenced the person I am today for better and for worse. In the area of body image, I used to pretend I didn’t care about how I looked up until high school, while I wore baggy shirts and bandanas, but in reality, I had been paying attention since I was an overweight girl in elementary school. No one ever called me fat to my face, but they didn’t have to-- you just hear people saying negative things about other people that are like you, and you come to the conclusion on your own. I was not the “pretty one”, and even to this day I struggle with people telling me I look nice. And as for the struggle of not feeling “good enough”, I can easily say that is probably true for almost every artist I’ve ever known. I don’t think I know many artists who can truly take a compliment well, and in fact, we are used to constant rejection and criticism from our peers and audience. For me, praise received is rarely accepted, actually believing it as truth, because I can always see the imperfections and mistakes in my work. Needless to say, I’m a work in progress!

And that’s all just a couple of struggles in my own life. Whether it’s because of something we do, don’t do, or something done to us to make us feel less than.   There are those of us in our church, and people in the world, struggling with even more than we can imagine that keeps them from fully accepting the fact that Jesus loves them as they are.  We live in a day and age that lets feelings and fear guide our way, rather than God’s Truth. We forget that feelings are fleeting; they change, and that sometimes leaves us feeling “less than” or “not good enough” when we have evidence of Jesus’ Truth saying otherwise.

Let’s look at the scripture to see one of the many examples of how Jesus loves and accepts us as we are. In Luke 5, we see Jesus choose His first disciples. These men are failures in the world’s eyes in essence. These are the Jews that could not cut it in seminary school and were working jobs that were not respectable, such as fishermen and tax collectors. And still, Jesus walks right up to them and tells them to follow Him right then and there as they are. He didn’t say, “Ok, well I want you to be my disciples, really I do, but you’re just not enough ____.” No, Jesus’ only expectation was their obedience. And in being obedient to Him, this led to changed lives for these men. He changed them, and the world, by His love for us all as we are, and proved it through His sacrifice for our sins. So, the Truth is that obedience and trust lead to your identity in Him and a better life. The short answer to believing in Jesus’ love for us: we cannot trust the opinion of ourselves, if it is in conflict with Jesus’ Truth. Take hold of that today, and let Jesus love you as you are, so you can love others like Jesus and make a difference in this world that so sorely needs His love.

Question

Do you struggle with loving yourself as you are? How can you work on loving yourself as God loves you? How can you help others to love themselves?

Prayer Challenge

If you, or know someone struggling with the Truth of Jesus’ loves for them, and loving themselves, pray for their spiritual health and guidance. Ask God to reveal the Truth in His Word and through your everyday blessings.

Next Step

Throughout the next week, be alert to moments in yourself and others that make you feel unloved or not good enough, and say a prayer to combat those fleeting feelings and lies. Maybe even write them down to pray about them at the end of the day. Recognizing all the lies that try to keep us from Jesus’ love is something we have to practice, to make ourselves aware, in order to combat with prayer, reading His Word, and spending time with like-minded Christians.