Our actions speak volumes

Published 10:26 am Saturday, November 23, 2019

Karen Stevens

Faith is being brave to believe what you can’t see, and bravery is doing what you’re afraid to do.  Love is also something you can’t see, but you can see in actions. Our actions speak volumes.  

I heard Joyce Myer preaching about how can you love others if you don’t love yourself.  

I have heard that statement all my life, but she explained it from her trials, and it became more important to me.  She explained that most people who don’t love themselves are control freaks because they were hurt at a young age, and it’s a protection mode.  

The control freak needs to let people in a little at a time to protect themselves from that hurt.  And if “those” hurt the control freak, well it’s back to step one.  

It takes bravery to step out of your comfort zone and let someone in.  

Being a control freak can actually be a barrier to becoming a Christian for many people.  

Our past experiences greatly shape what we want to believe, but that is only half the problem.  The other half is the ones that don’t love themselves are terrible in relationships, including a relationship with God.  

The reason being is we should take comfort in knowing there is a God who loves us, and we should trust Him about each thing that comes our way, but do we?  

Psalm 55:22 states: “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you”.  (Note: He will sustain you. Nothing more, nothing less).  

Casting your cares simply means to pray.  

The Bible gives us very little information on how prayer works.  We know we’re supposed to pray, but we have no way of knowing what God will do in response.  

Prayer is a very difficult concept for control freaks!  By nature, we want to control the process and outcomes.  

With prayer, we can’t control either.  

It’s about total dependence on God.  

We control-freaks would rather depend on ourselves for everything in life.  Given the seeming ambiguity of prayer, it can be tempting to avoid it, and spend more time relying on ourselves to solve problems.  

Prayer has to be a very conscious effort for the control freak.  We have to believe that it’s important despite not having a clear understanding of outcomes.  

I’m sure a lot of you are rolling your eyes, saying you just have to pray and believe, but God does not always answer our prayers the way we want them answered.  

There is also another side to this argument.  

People state there is no scripture that says you have to love yourself, and there isn’t.  

The phrase “love your neighbor as yourself” is the scripture that both sides use.  

In this passage, Jesus said there are two great commandments; the first – love God, and the second is to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40).  

If we say we can’t love others until we love ourselves, we are essentially saying Jesus gave us the third commandment.  

In fact, without realizing it, we are suggesting that to love yourself is the second greatest commandment and that it is a precondition to loving other people.  

Throughout the Bible, we are commanded to love others—without being told to “love ourselves first.”  

So, here you have it; two sides to the coin.  

I would like to think, loving others as you would love yourself, is God’s way of letting us off the hook.  In other words, we only have to love others with what we are capable of doing.  

So, as the Kit Kat slogan goes “Give yourself a break”.  Be brave and love others while trying to love yourself.


Karen Y. Stevens is the founder of Orange County Christian Writers Guild