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As You Love Yourself (4 of 6)

Mike Connell

Then Luke 2:52 it says, He grew in wisdom and stature, and the knowledge and the favour, with God and with man, so He did something. Now if you love yourself, invest in yourself. That doesn't mean buy a big screen TV. [Laughter] To invest in yourself, means to develop what you've got going on inside you, so if you've got a musical gift, go get some teaching, training, learn how to develop the gift. If you've got a calling to do something, then invest in the training needed. If you're going to get married, invest in learning how to communicate. Why? Because you'll need to. You'll have a miserable future if you can't. A lot of people, they just all get thinking about their wedding day. Listen, the wedding day's one thing, but having a marriage is a completely different deal. We really want to have good marriages, not great weddings. Great weddings are wonderful, but you know, tomorrow you wake up and oh my goodness, what's happened! [Laughter] Very true. The fog clears, and suddenly it's a different - oh, what was I thinking! I didn't know that about you! No, all is revealed now. [Laughter] More than you'd imagine [laughs] see?

So your skills, what about developing your character? What about getting into a group where you work on character growth, and you become accountable? That's an investment in growing your character, because you grow that, you become capable of carrying things more in life. What about your skills, various skills you have? What about education? A lot of families don't value education. Education is very valuable, because if you invest in yourself, what you do is, you take the potential, and you enlarge what you're capable of, and therefore you improve your value to your employer. Think about that one - so if you want to really be on a track to success you make growth, personal growth is a lifelong journey. You never stop learning, and not only that, you put that value in your children. You value education, not as an end in itself, but as a way of developing, and calling forth the potential that's inside. That's loving yourself isn't it?

Well, you're thinking, now we're all thinking. You know, we're all thinking aren't we, thinking God I wish I'd heard this 20 years ago. [Laughs] Well I wish I had too. This is the first time I've ever taught on this, and it took me a lot of time to get this thing clear in my own head, love yourself. Oh no, loving people, that's what - love yourself, what's that about? It's quite hard to get a handle on that. It raises some issues then doesn't it aye? Oh, move on, next point. Got to take personal responsibility for your choices. If you're going to love yourself, you must take responsibility for the choices you make, and you find in John 17, Verse 4, at the end of His life Jesus said Father, I've finished the work You gave Me to do. He set His priorities, and His choices, around fulfilling God's call in His life, so there were lots of pressures, there were lots of things He said no to. He took responsibility for His life. He made choices. Now one of the things, we live in a victim culture, where people would rather blame someone else for why they are where they are, like they are, and having the experiences and feelings they have.

So you may be feeling terribly frustrated. Well this is to blame and that's to blame, all kinds of things. Hey listen, that's all outside you. You've got to change what's inside you. You've got to make choices about what you'll do with your negative feelings; Well you made me angry! Well yeah, that may be right. Maybe I pulled a trigger, but you're the one who's got the bullet. You're the one who's fired up. You're the one who has the anger. What about actually coming to grips with that side of it? You do it all the time you know, or regularly you nut off, you know? So face what's going on in your life. Take responsibility, rather than blaming someone. Now it's easier to blame, than it is to take responsibility, because as soon as you take responsibility, then now you must do something about your life. It's much easier to blame someone for why I am like I am, than it is to take responsibility, and yet if you love yourself, don't play the victim, because if you play the victim, you're powerless. Then you get resentful and your life is messed up. That is definitely not treating yourself well.