Cute quote, but I believe the author was missing the point of love, agape love especially. See, God loves despite our sin, God loves because Love is God's very essence, God loves us even when we do not love ourselves. So do not listen to the lies of the enemy that teach that you have to give love to receive love. Godly love is unconditional. Ah, Valentines. What a wonderful occasion for the world to come together to demonstrate what they believe love is. Now take a moment and turn to 1 Corinthians 13. Notice, not once did the Bible mention flowers, going over your budget, lavish trips, romance, candles, sex, or gifts. No, the Bible says love is the many characteristics of God. If you desire to love yourself and others more you must first understand God, who is Love, both in spirit and in Truth. Read more to see what God has to say about love.
1. 1 Corinthians 13, Mark 8:36-38, James 1: 14-15: Seek after God and things above, not people. Being with the wrong person will make you feel bad for who you are. Being with the wrong person will distract you from your new life in Christ as you try to mold yourself to fit into a box that was never designed for you in the first place. Conformity and settling is not love, God is love. God will make you feel whole.
2. James 3:14-16: Be yourself. After all, God created your specific uniqueness. Never feel the need to dim your light because someone can't handle the glare. Growing up, I always downplayed myself because the people around me were so negative and had such a bad outlook on life. Real friends will not need you to be small so they can feel big.
3. Isaiah 43:18-19: Try something new. The old has gone, the new is here. Is there a hobby you always wanted to explore, a craft you want to hone, a food you always wanted to cook? Well, the only thing stopping you is you. Go skating with some friends, have a picnic in the winter, make new memories. Most importantly, do it with people who love you and will support your journey.
4. Colossians 3:23: Imitate the diligence of God who patiently awaits his children's return. You should work on your dreams every day. Even when you reach your dreams/goals, you must spend the rest of your life learning more and honing that dream. As an adult, our growth must be intentional and planned. Therefore, spend time everyday doing what you love. The results will manifest in time.
4. Joshua 1:8: Read faith based inspirational and motivational books on the regular. Remember, it is God that enables your success. Therefore, spend time seeking God daily so your Spirit can be well fed. Nourish your heart with the words from The One who knows it best.
5. Proverbs 27:17: Iron sharpens iron. Your friends should be the mirror you're too afraid to look into. Keep wise counsel on your team. Friends are there to cheer you up and empower you. If you are around people who are not just as excited about your dreams and goals, then those are not the people who can love you the way you need to be loved.
6. Matthew 7:6: Don't let pigs trample your pearls. Never alternate your morals and values for anyone else. Perfect love casts out all fear. So, if you ever feel yourself negotiating with sin to keep someone’s company repent and flee from the evil desires of the heart.
7. Matthew 18:21-22: Forgive people. Simple as that. While you are sitting at home miserable, finding ways to get revenge, that person who offended you is out somewhere living their life. Tell Satan, listen I love God, and God is love. If I hate my brother, then I do not know God because God is love.
8. Psalm 51:7: Keep your house clean. Majority of the time, the way your house and car looks reflects your life. Time to tidy up. When you look good you feel good. The same for your house. Light some candles and turn on some worship music. You might find God speaking to you in the process.
9. Revelation 12:11: Share your testimony: Volunteer to speak at your old high school or college. Young adults need role models in their life. Share things with others that you had to figure out the hard way. Let someone learn from your mistake. Love someone enough to share the Truth that you had to learn the hard way. Sharing stories about grace will bring you joy knowing how much you have overcome through Christ Jesus.
10. Psalms 121: Spend more time in nature. The best way for self-discovery is away from your house, away from your phone, and away from social media, completely basking in the universe, the mountains, and oceans. Bask in the marvelous creations from the Creator. Bask in the oceans that God created for our enjoyment, look towards the stars so that you can see nature, and realize that it is God’s handiwork. The people in it are his masterpiece. You are God's masterpiece.
11. Romans 15:13: Journal. Gather a pen and paper and write down scriptures, words of encouragement, and affirmations to yourself. Make these your phone screen saver, place it on your fridge, or in your office space. Spend time everyday reminding yourself that you indeed are beautiful and wonderfully made. Give yourself credit.
12. Proverbs and Psalms: Read some poetry. Hello. Poetry is the language of love. Dive into a good poetry book or download an app to get your daily dose of love sayings.
13. Psalm 119: 37-38: Filter!!! Listen have a heart for God. Monitor what you are consuming on a daily basis. If you are constantly feeding your flesh gossips, fights, and ratchet music those influences will determine your state of mind. Start jamming out to some contemporary Christian music or some opera and classical music.
14. Proverbs 3:27-28: Pay it forward. The greatest commandment is loving God and loving your brother the same. What does it mean to God if you are only nice to those who are nice to you or serve only those who serve you? Do something for someone that could never repay you.
15. Proverbs 12:26: Surround yourself with people that feed your Spirit. Laughing is fun, but sometimes you need wisdom and motivation. It is hard when you are the smartest out of your bunch. You might feel like no one understands you. That is because they don’t. You do not have to leave people behind, but do not be afraid to forge new friendships as you grow.
16. 1 Corinthians 6:12 Feed your body good food. We not only have to nourish our Spirit, but the vessel that Jesus dwells in. Certain foods can cause hormonal and chemical imbalances. Start your day and end your night with some happy foods. Wake up earlier in the morning and eat a good meal. Foods that nourish the body.
17. Genesis 1:27 and Psalm 139: 14: Take pictures of yourself or of things that you like. Your eyes take in so much negativity and worthless things, but fixate your eyes on beauty. Adorn your room and office space with beauty and love poems, scripture, and affirmations. *Ross has the best prices on canvas’. Look at yourself often in awe. When you see yourself, remember God created you with a purpose in mind. 18. Matthew 18:20 and Ephesians 4:15-16: Start a group or join a group of like minded people. People often don't love themselves because they might feel "other". Do you ever feel alone, like people cannot relate to you? Truly, they might not be able to. When you are speaking from the Holy Spirit is it of other tongues. When you are propelled my Jesus, your desires change. You are transformed. There is a whole body of Christ out there, join your brothers and sisters.
19. Matthew 5:37: Stop trying to be a people pleaser. Do not go where you do not want to and do not do what you do not want to. It's okay to say no. People who love you will love you regardless. 20. Proverbs 31:25: Dress yourself nice and groom yourself even when you feel your worse. Often, compliments and smiles from others will help you see what you might not see in yourself. Complimenting yourself and others help them see past their imperfections and insecurities. When you lift others up, you simultaneously uplift yourself. 21. Genesis 33:10, Job 8:21, Ephesians 6:7: Smile. Talk to strangers when you go out. Smiling is contagious. Talk to random people at the grocery store, gym or that person on the elevator at work. Smiling reminds others that they are human and that people notice them. 22. 1 John 3:18: Go serve others. Due to the spirit of comparison you may feel that you are not enough, but as you serve and give of your time and talents you will see how appreciated and purposeful you really are. 23. Job 12:12, Philippians 3:13-14 and Isaiah 43:18-19: Let go of the past. Simple as that. Those things you think about at night and lose sleep over are in the past. Do not allow those things to fester and distract you from where God is taking you. God loves you despite your past, no matter how bad it was. God does not expect you to know what you know now then because it groomed you for the testimony you have today. God makes beauty from the ashes. 24. 1 Peter 4:10: Take some strength building quizzes or career aptitude tests. These quizzes are created to help individuals recognize their strengths and weakness. Taking a Myers-Brigg, Love Language quiz, Spiritual Gifts test etc might open your eyes to paths you could not have imagined on your own. 25. 1 John 5:5, 1 John 3:16, John 3:16: Word have power. Last but not least. Look yourself in the mirror and say I love you. Self, I love you. I love you because ______. Write a list. Put it in an envelope and give it to a friend to mail it to you at a later date. Remind yourself and others how much you love them. All too often, people go days without telling people they are loved and appreciated or even giving them a hug. We have to love one another in actions and words.