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As You Love Yourself (4 of 6)

Mike Connell

If you have a lot of conflict about who you are, and what's going on inside your life, you will have major issues in relating to people, and also in loving your neighbour, because everything you do will be affected by the way you see yourself. This is why we had a Freedom Retreat. It's why we have Restoration Retreats, it's why we have courses like Search for Significance. There's a reason for it, because you need to get to grips with the truth as God sees it, about who you are, to be freed from defining yourself by the experiences you've had, or by the way people have treated you. If people have treated you badly, you'd come to the conclusion I must be a bad person. If people abuse you, you come to the conclusion there's something wrong with me. Now if you walk through life and there's something wrong with me, and you've got all this going, you're going to actually have a very big challenging time building successful relationships, because you don't know where you start and where you finish, you don't know what's yours and what's someone else's.

All your relationships will be affected by that, and we'll show you how just as we go through, so we want to talk then about properly loving yourself. I can't do it all in one session, but we'll have a go at laying some foundations. So the first thing to look at is, where do you find your value as a person? Where do you find your value as a person, your sense of esteem, and your worth? Well you're either going to find it inside you, on the basis of what God says about you, or you find it outside you. So your value as a person, you're either going to find it and establish it internally, based by faith in what God says, or you'll try and establish it outside yourself. Let me explain what I mean by that.

If you try to establish it outside yourself, you think something like this; well I've got a lot of money, therefore I'm a very important person, or I'm very valuable. But of course if you've got a lot of money, and your value's based on your money, and your money falls over tomorrow, then you are in a problem, because your value's attached to your money. If you value position, and so a lot of your struggle in life is to get recognition and position, and having a position and a title is a wonderful thing, then that position, you lose it tomorrow, where are you going to be left? You'll be very hurt, very angry and you'll have a lot of issues internally. People do this. They use possessions, they use property, they use their positioning. They use all kinds of things - performance, we work hard. If I work hard and do it perfectly, I'll be valuable. Now when people think this way, they're wired for failure in their relationships, because they're trying to establish their value from what's outside them, rather than having it firmly established inside them.

If it's outside you, where your value is found, in success, in family, in marriage, in every other kind of thing - when that goes wrong, you've got major issues inside you. But if your value is established inside you, you are able to enter into relationships and be much more whole, and much more able to enter into great relationships, so we need to base our value on what God has to say about us. We need to base our value, our esteem, the way you see yourself, you need to base it around what God says. This is what God says. There are two aspects of God's value on us, and here's why you're so valuable. I'll point out to you, now I don't care whether you've got a problem with alcohol, a problem with pornography, a problem with drugs, a problem with your marriage, a problem with relationships, it doesn't matter what kind of issue you've got going on right now, I can tell you, you are still valuable. Here's why you're valuable. It's got nothing to do with the problems you have in your life. That's all about your performing. It has to do with what God says about you.

Now here's two things that God says, and the word of God says; number one, in Genesis 1:26, God made man in His image and likeness. You are a spirit being, an eternal spirit being. Everything you see around you is going to pass away, is going to disappear or change, but you have an aspect of you which goes on for eternity. Therefore you are more valuable than anything around you. You are valuable, because you're made in the image and likeness of God. You are a spirit being. Of all of God's creation human beings are spirit beings. We're uniquely made to represent God in the earth. You are valuable, because you're a spirit being, because you're made in the image of God. You think well yeah, yeah, but what about sin, you know? Sin came in and messed it all up. Yeah, but think about this: a car that's had a bit of an accident is still a car, and if God created you in His image and likeness, and sin has come in and marred it, all it's done is damaged you, but you're still made in the image and likeness of God. It's just you're damaged, and you have to come back through relationship with Christ to be restored into what He intended.