Okay. I’ve written, deleted, rewritten, deleted again, and am now writing this post again…third time is the charm, right? And like most days, after trying on five different outfits for work, I usually end up in the outfit I first had on, I am back to my original post idea.
A while back I heard this song on the radio called Be Kind To Yourself by Andrew Peterson and immediately resonated with every word sung, every note and chord played hit me, it felt as though the song was written for me. I hesitated to write this post because it almost felt self centered and self focused to say, be kind to yourself, but the more I thought about it and the more I prayed for what I was supposed to write, I kept coming back to the same idea: I am my worst enemy and being kind to myself is harder than being kind to others. But I fully believe God wants us to be kind to ourselves as well as others and it is not selfish or self centered.
Luke 10:27, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your heart. And your neighbor as yourself.
I am the world’s worst perfectionist and therefore when I mess up, whether it’s a big mess up or a small one literally no one will notice. I become the worst critic and the dialogue in my mind is full of self hatred and all the ways I should have done better, studied harder, I could have been more helpful, I would have prevented that person from being mad or that situation from happening if only I would have done things better than I did.
In essence, I remove the grace God has given to me when I mess up and sin and replace it with a mere attempt to self atone by better good works. I remove the work that God is doing in myself and those around me because I take control and attempt to fix everything because I fell short of my own standards. But removing grace and love that God freely lavishes on me each day is never going to result in growth, but only destruction. When I choose to not see myself the way God sees me, I instantly forget my worth in Christ.
So what does this all have to do with kindness? Great question.
The bible, specifically in Luke 10:27, we are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we do not love ourself or if we are not kind to ourselves, how can we expect our kindness to be genuine toward others and not just another act of good works?
One of the verses of the song goes like this: You can’t expect to be perfect
It’s a fight you’ve gotta forfeit
You belong to me whatever you do
So lay down your weapon, darling
Take a deep breath and believe that I love you
Now, if I understand the song correct, it is being written from a father to his daughter…to me, this song is something God is singing to me. I can’t fight to be perfect because I am not nor will ever be perfect, I will not always be kind, but when I truly believe I am loved by God, the kindness that pours out is no longer an attempt to look good and be better, it’s not even from me. It’s the kindness of God coming out of a heart that has been transformed by the work of the cross.
So, be kind to yourself. Learn to live out of God’s love and let His kindness rule your every thought, word, and deed. But don’t stop with being kind to yourself, extend it to everyone around you…even if you do not believe they deserve kindness.
Until next time friends,
Be Kind To Yourself Andrew Peterson