I believe it’s true that self-respect attracts the respect of others. It creates a presence that influences others and grants you an assurance and perspective of self that greatly determines our attitudes and actions for the better.
To be sure, God wants you to respect yourself. After all, He created you and died for you.
But most of us are smart enough to realize we have areas in our lives where we just don’t measure up. We have all failed and make mistakes on a constant basis. When we look in the mirror, we see gaps between who we want to be and who we actually are.
On top of that, we have been sent negative messages by people around us highlighting flaws we already have and branding us with flaws we don’t even have. So, the chances of not respecting ourselves the way God would have us to, are strong. There seems to be enough reasons why we shouldn’t.
Perhaps that’s the reason why we give safe harbor to the disrespect of others and make choices from an internal foundation of a disrespect of self. Think about it, how many times have you made choices that you knew deep down weren’t good for you, but you did it anyways? How many times has the voice in your head simply echoed the criticism from others with little to no discernment and pause?
The super good news is, God can make you disrespect-proof; from yourself and even from others.
The Bible teaches, when you put your faith in what Christ has done for you on the cross, you become a new creation. The word for “creation” in the original language of this passage actually means, “species.” In essence, you have become a completely new person.
Among so many others things, the Bible says this new person you have become is completely sanctified, holy, and righteous. In fact, it says that there is no condemnation over your life whatsoever, and every sin (past, present, and future) has all been forgiven. Your identity has become no less than Christ’s Himself. The Bible says, “As He is (in heaven seated at the right hand of God) so are we in this world.” Everything is under our feet. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing, lacking nothing of God in our lives. And let me add this little gem… it’s not even your nature any longer to sin. That old nature was put to death with Jesus, now you have a new nature. Do we still have miscues in our life? Yes, but those do not change who we are and are identity. We are now defined by Christ’s performance, not our own. This, and much more, are the kind of things God did TO you on the cross. In short, the moment you believe, He lives in you and as you in this world.
This means, in truth and reality, there is no room nor reason for any level of self-disrespect in your life. To think any less of your value, worth, and being is an offense to what Jesus did TO you on the cross in making you a new creation. You are a son (or daughter) of the King and an heir, priest, and king in the Kingdom. Yes, you, right now, through faith in Him.
Your self-respect is based on the new self you have become, a new creation, Christ living in you. It’s not based on what you do (or have done), but on what Christ has done TO you. Should we act in disrepectable ways? Of course not! That’s a no brainer. Should we complain when other people think less of us when we act stupidly? Of course not, another no brainer! But in Christ, what we do does not define who we are. In fact, the more you believe and respect who you are in Christ, the more you will act in respectable ways. Right believing leads to right living. A person with an obedience problem first has an identity problem.
So, stop disrespecting yourself! It breaks God heart and keeps you from living the life He has for you. Our actions always follow our beliefs. The less you believe in who you truly are, the less you will live the life God gave you to live. Faith is the key! Believe it, receive it, and live it.
When you become a new creation in Christ, Jesus gives you an identity you can truly respect. You don’t have to fake it, and you don’t have to take it, anymore!
Here’s some practical things respecting yourself will mean…
1-respecting yourself means silencing the voice in your head that echoes the opinions and feelings people have about you.
Being careful and discerning with what people say and feel about you before taking them to heart is a sign of healthy self-respect.
Believe you are a son (or daughter) of the living God!
2-respecting yourself means learning to love chronically hurtful people from a distance.
Setting healthy boundaries that protect what God has and continues to do in and through is a sign of healthy self-respect. Sometimes this will meaning loving certain people from a distance.
Believe you are holy, complete, and sanctified in Christ!
3-respecting yourself means never allowing the lack of character in another to become the lack of character in you.
Staying true to the greatness and goodness you are in Him is a sign of healthy self-respect.
Believe you are the righteousness of Christ, a king and priest in the Kingdom, a partaker of the divine nature!
4-respecting yourself means refusing to carry the burden of trying to keep people interested in your life.
Being secure in yourself no matter how many value, take interest, affirm, and join you in life is a sign of healthy self-respect.
Believe you are the joy for which Jesus came and endured the cross!
What would you add to this list?
Great article again. Thanks Chris.