What do you think when you hear the phrase: self-compassion?
Was your response positive or negative?
Maybe you felt you needed more information.
My journey with self-compassion has been an interesting one. I have felt every emotion from guilt to comfort. I have wondered if self-compassion was self-indulgent or even unbiblical.
What I know now is, self-compassion is giving ourselves the kindness and care we would give to another.
Let me show you why self-compassion is so important (and biblical).
Mark 12:28–31 says,
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Jesus makes it clear. We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. But what if you don’t know how to love yourself?
I have good news! God gives us clear directions by showing us how to love others.
Ephesians 4:29-32, says,
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
These verses are convicting to me. Not only do I have to ask myself, How do I talk about others. I also have to ask, How do I talk to myself? Is it worthy of a daughter of the King? One who has been redeemed by His sacrifice and death on a cross for my salvation?
What bitterness, anger or unforgiveness do I harbor in my heart against others or towards myself?
Do I have compassion for others when they struggle or make mistakes?
Do I have compassion for myself when I struggle and make mistakes?
In Galatians 5, the Apostle Paul shows us more of God’s words on how to treat others. But before he does, he reminds us of God ONE command:
“For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: “Love others as you love yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)
Then Paul continues his teaching in Galatians 5:22–23,
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws.”
The Apostle Paul shows us the way to freedom for ourselves and for others is to live by God’s Spirit who dwells within us. It is through the power of the Spirit that we are able to treat ourselves and others with kindness, patience, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness (compassion) as we walk in love, joy, peace and self-control.
Friends, the bottom line is this:
We cannot give away, what we do not hold within us.
How are you doing in the area of self-compassion? Does this blog make you think differently about your personal inner journey of caring for yourself? I would love to hear how you are doing in the comments below or by email.
Until next time, you are CHERISHED!
PS: A few pictures from this week’s journey. Celebrating the New Year in Suncadia with family!
Cora Reid – My niece and the first girl in an all boy family!
Cousins sledding at Suncadia (all the boys, including Buddy, Bentley, & Sport)
My beautiful sister and Cora
One of my favorite views!