Living a Life that Counts

No parent should ever have to bury their child. I was not prepared for my daughter, Carrin’s death over five years ago. It shook a lot of things up. There are some things you take for granted…like there will be a tomorrow. For Carrin, there wasn’t and it showed the rest of us how precious each day really is.

For a while, I was sure the sky was falling. It was as if Carrin’s death began a series of events that seemed overwhelming. One of these was that Ray needed and received a quadruple bypass, Ray has always the strong one.
Suddenly he was restricted to lifting nothing heavier than a gallon of milk.
When roles change in a marriage, “in sickness and in health” comes front and center. Suddenly you see things in your own attitude that are not all that pleasing.
Why do we resist change? Why do we continue to want things the way they were?
When selfishness raised its ugly head because things were inconvenient or just not going my way, I would repent and then go into self-bitterness and self-hatred because I wasn’t doing everything right.
One morning while in the waiting room at the hospital where Ray was getting his first post-operative stress test, I opened my Bible and read  1 John. There I found a lot of answers to  not only why I do not love myself, but how to love myself. While I suggest you read the whole epistle, let me pull out a few verses.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.

We know we cannot love others unless we love ourselves. We hate ourselves when we don’t do things “the way we are supposed to.” Well, who told us that?
Certainly the enemy.

 Verses 1 and 2 say we have an advocate in Jesus Christ and he is our offering, our atonement for our sin.
Self-hatred says, “No, thanks. That’s not going to be good enough. I need to punish myself!”
Not only is that insanity, but it is self-idolatry declaring that hating oneself is a substitute for His death on the cross.

Yet I have done it for years.
12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
“For his name’s sake”
Can you ponder on that a moment?
“…your sin’s are forgiven for his name’s sake.”
We have nothing to earn, nothing to prove, nothing to pay.
12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.

Receive His gift today. Tomorrow isn’t promised, but if it comes, live it fully.

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