DEVELOPING A HEALTHY
1. This morning, I am going to provide a lesson on the second greatest commandment.
2. I don’t know if you have ever thought about this, but before we can love our neighbor, we must first love ourselves. The Bible teaches us that we are to love ourselves.
a. Loving ourselves doesn't mean we become self-centered.
b. It doesn’t mean we become arrogant and prideful.
c. It doesn’t mean we think that we are better than others.
3. Loving ourselves means that instead of having a poor self-image, we have a good self-image. We think positively about ourselves because God created us, and He doesn’t create junk.
4. But although we are to have a good self-image, many of us, at times, fall into the trap of condemning ourselves. We say things like:
a. I am a failure.
b. No one likes me.
c. I am a terrible mother or father.
d. I am stupid.
e. I am unattractive.
5. When we feed our minds with these condemning thoughts, after a while, we start believing them. And before you know it, we experience:
a. Low self-confidence.
b. Social withdrawal.
c. A lack of inner peace and security.
e. An inability to accept compliments or expressions of love.
THIS MORNING, I WOULD LIKE TO LIFT UP YOUR SPIRITS & YOUR SELF ESTEEM BY PRESENTING SEVERAL PRINCIPLES ON HOW WE CAN DEVELOP A HEALTHY SELF-CONCEPT.
I. FIRST, TO DEVELOP A HEALTHY SELF-CONCEPT, WE MUST EMBRACE THE VALUE WE HAVE IN GOD’S SIGHT.
1. God loves us so much, that He created us in His own image.
2. Since we are created in the image of God, we are precious and valuable in His eyes.
a. We are so valuable to God that He sent His son, Jesus, to die for us (Jn. 3:16).
3. Here is what amazes me about God. He values us even when we make mistakes.
a. Some times we think that God loves and values us one day, however, when we sin or make a mistake, we think that He dislikes us. He values us one day, but He doesn’t the next.
4. God values us even though we are not perfect.
Perhaps no composer has captured the musical heart and soul of America as did Irving Berlin. In addition to familiar favorites such as “God Bless America” and “Easter Parade,” he wrote, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” which still ranks as the all-time best-selling musical score.
In an interview for the San Diego Union, Don Freeman asked Berlin, “Is there any question you’ve never been asked that you would like someone to ask you?”
“Well, yes, there is one,” he replied. “What do you think of the many songs you’ve written that didn’t become hits?” My reply would be that I still think they are wonderful.”
5. Since we are worth a lot to God, we need to value ourselves.
a. Knowing that we are made in God’s image should provide us with a solid basis for self-worth. Our human worth is not based on possessions, achievements, physical attractiveness, or public acclaim. Instead it is based on being made and created by God.
b. Because we bear God’s image, we can feel positive about ourselves. When we criticize or downgrade ourselves, we criticize God who has made us. Knowing that we are a people of worth helps us to love ourselves, which in turn will help us to love others.
II. SECOND, TO DEVELOP A HEALTHY SELF-CONCEPT, WE MUST REPLACE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK WITH POSITIVE SELF- TALK.
1. We carry on an inner dialogue with ourselves at an astounding rate of about 1,300 words per minute. What we say to ourselves influences our self-concept.
2. Dr. Albert Ellis says that most people have negative, self-defeating and irrational thoughts about life and themselves. Here are some irrational thoughts that some people have:
a. When people buy into these irrational beliefs or lies they will get down on themselves because they cannot fulfill them which will produce a low self-esteem.
3. How do we change our negative self-talk to positive self-talk?
a. We need to replace our irrational negative thoughts, with positive truthful thoughts.
III. THIRD, TO DEVELOP A HEALTHY SELF-CONCEPT, WE MUST BELIEVE IN OURSELVES.
1. The Apostle Paul wrote this verse to the Christians at Philippi.
2. Although Paul was not an eloquent speaker, nor an attractive man, nor a wealthy man, he became one of the greatest and most loved and respected Christians of all times.
3. He became successful because he believed and loved Jesus Christ with all of his heart and because he believed in himself. Likewise, we must believe in ourselves as well.
a. Young people, if you believe in yourself, and are willing to work hard, you can achieve anything that you want to do in this life. No matter what other people say that you can and cannot do, you can do it. Why? Because the Bible teaches that you can.
Tommy Tighe, a six year old from California, had a vision that he could establish peace in the world.
To accomplish his mission, Tommy had some bumper stickers made that said, “PEACE, PLEASE! DO IT FOR US KIDS.”
To get his message out, this six-year-old went to Ronald Reagan’s home, who at that time was the former president of the United States, knocked on his door, and sold him a bumper sticker.
Then He sent a bumper sticker to Mikhail Gorbachev, who in turn sent him back $1.50 and a picture that said, “Go for peace, Tommy,” and signed it, “Mikhail Gorbachev, President.”
After about two years of proclaiming his message of peace around the world, Tommy went on The Joan Rivers Show. At the end of the show, Joan leaned in and asked, “Tommy, do you really think your bumper sticker will cause peace in the world?”
Tommy, enthusiastically and with a radiant smile, said, “So far I’ve had it out two years and got the Berlin Wall down. I’m doing pretty good, don’t you think?”
b. Older people, do you know that you can achieve anything that you want to do in this life. No matter how old you are, there is still time to make a difference in the world.
(1) Galilao discovered the monthly and daily phases of the moon when he was seventy-three years old.
(2) Cyrus Vanderbilt did not become a great railroad king until he was seventy; at eighty-eight he was the most active railroad man of his day.
(3) The Apostle John was in his nineties when God used him to write an inspired book of the Bible.
(4) Joshua was between 85 and 100 years old when he led the Israelites into their God-given homeland.
4. No matter how old you are, you can achieve anything that you set your mind too. God can use you no matter how old you are.
5. When we start believing in ourselves, we will feel good about ourselves and we will have confidence to achieve our dreams.
IV. FOURTH, TO DEVELOP A HEALTHY SELF-CONCEPT, WE SHOULD FOCUS MORE ON JESUS & HIS WILL THAN ON OURSELVES.
1. Even though we need to love ourselves and believe in ourselves, we must not spend all of our time focusing on our own desires and ourselves.
2. See the prevalent self-esteem approaches today teach that in order to build up your self-esteem you must focus upon yourself. However the Bible teaches that if you want a good self-esteem you must not focus totally on self but on Jesus and His will.
a. Jesus is saying that if we want to be His disciples, we must deny ourselves which in the Greek means “to lose sight of ourselves.” In other words, we must focus on ourselves less and Jesus more.
3. Every day, instead of asking, "What can I do for myself today," we should ask “What can I do for Jesus today! How can I serve the Lord today?
4. I promise that you will feel good about yourself when you focus on Jesus and serve His people.
1. Brethren, the Bible teaches that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
2. But before we can love our neighbor, we must learn to love ourselves.
3. Loving ourselves does not mean that "we become self-centered; we become arrogant and prideful; or we think that we are better than others.
4. Loving ourselves means that instead of having a poor self-image, we have a good self-image. We think positively about ourselves because God created us, and He doesn't create junk.
5. To love ourselves, we need to develop a healthy self-concept.
a. To develop a healthy self-concept, we should embrace the value we have in God's sight.
b. Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
c. Believe in ourselves.
d. Focus more on Jesus and less on ourselves.
6. If the Lord's message has touched you this morning, please respond to the invitation as we stand and sing.