Sometimes I come across things so well said that it is worth quoting them in their entirety. Below is an example. Here we come across a challenge: loving ourselves. Challenge is a good word to use here as loving ourselves is not an easy task. Sometimes it lasts only till the next mistake we make, which usually is not that far off.
Many people can do more than they think they can. Why? We are afraid of attempting so many things simply because we are afraid of opposition and defeat. But people who withdraw into their own shells out of fear of setbacks, or because they are afraid of other people’s reaction, never get to know their own potentialities.
And if we never get to know our potentialities, we never learn the limitations of our powers either. It is only when we go out of ourselves that we arrive at ourselves. It is only when we try to get beyond our limitations that we discover what they are, and accept them. People who do not want what seems to them impossible never fully exploit their possibilities.
Why shouldn’t we think ourselves capable of the things God thinks us capable of? Our new energies of living are awakened by trust; by our trust in ourselves, by the trust of other people, by God’s trust in us. In the free space of trust our powers are awakened and new powers grow. “With my God I can leap over a wall,” says the Bible in a splendid image.
If this trust in ourselves is to be strengthened we must awaken our self-love.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” We cannot love other people unless we love ourselves, and we cannot love ourselves if we don’t want to be ourselves but want to be someone else. We can easily make the counter-check. Can a man who despises himself love the people he works with? Can a woman who doesn’t like what she is put up with other people? How can we give trust if we have no trust in ourselves?
True self-love has nothing whatsoever to do with selfishness, for selfishness comes from the fear of not getting one’s proper share, and of being disregarded. Selfishness is not self-love. It is rather the reverse side of self-hate. But self-seeking and self-hate are two sides of the same thing: the search for the lost self and the inability to accept oneself as one is.
(Jurgen Moltmann, The Source of Life)
This little quote holds many truths. As Christian leaders we are exposed to many possibilities of failure and criticism but if we can truly love ourselves through it all we will not lose confidence in God and His ability to work through us.
- Do not be afraid of defeat.
- Go beyond your limitations.
- Think yourself capable of greater things.
- Love yourself.
Joanna has a passion for mentoring female leaders to become mentors for a new generation. She is a founding director of One Rock, a board member of Renovare UK, and an associate lecturer at Oasis College. In her spare time she loves taking photographs of nature, and playing with her cat Chester.