A common theme in the fitness industry, and just generally, is LOVE YOURSELF. The message is to let go of what you hate about yourself, and instead learn to love yourself for who you are. In the words of pop crooner, Christina Aguilera, ‘you are beautiful no matter what they say’. You are uniquely beautiful and have talents, qualities that are special to you. So embrace your inner and outer beauty.
I technically agree with this idea. I am always dying for my clients to see themselves as the lovely, gifted women that I see or better yet as the women that God sees and treasures as HIS own. And yes, we are all individually blessed by HIM – truly one of a kind – and we are so beautiful precisely because of how uniquely and intimately HE made us, bearing HIS image.
However, I do secretly cringe every time I hear the love yourself mantra so popular in today’s society because I think that is precisely what creates many of our problems. I would like to throw that pretty little idea on its head. Please don’t misunderstand me – I am encouraging you to be humbly confident and content in the woman that God created you to be – but I am still going to challenge the motto because I think we need to take the focus off of ourselves.
My biggest beef with the love yourself theme is that it directs all the attention inward, and in my personal opinion, self-focus is rarely a good thing. For it is then that we forget about God and others, and sin starts to take hold. A very wise man once told me that most of our sins boil down to pride and selfishness, and upon further reflection, the truth of his statement really hit home. So you see, I would rather our mantra be love God and others and in turn we will love ourselves. I once saw this cute acronym that packed a powerful punch.
J – Jesus
O – Others
Y – Yourself
Does this seem familiar? It succinctly states what our LORD put so eloquently in Matthew 22:36-40:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If we live by these words, we will be truly joyful and so fixated on Christ that we will see the world and all those in it, including ourselves, through HIS loving eyes, and in turn, we will be able to lead and enjoy the lives that God has designed and desires for us.