I'm Learning To Love Myself With Mark 12:30 And I Hope You Will, Too

I'm Learning To Love Myself With Mark 12:30 And I Hope You Will, Too

This is my journey for self-confidence, and I hope you join me!

jcrabb
jcrabb
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I decided for my first article I would keep it very real. I recently got out of a relationship and with that decision came the amazing opportunity of focusing on myself again. While a little uncomfortable, I've spent this time securing who I am in my identity, and for that, I am so grateful. Unfortunately, I've also had to reacquaint myself with former insecurities brushed off by the distraction of a relationship. I'd like to talk about one, and how I am working through it.

Today, I want to discuss my lack of self-confidence.

A Little Background

Growing up, I have somewhat stood out. I grew up in a small, rural town consisting of around 2,000ish people, who on average, weren't exposed to many cultures due to the low racial makeup of the area. I didn't grow up with many other Asians except for the few times I went to a Korean church, but even then, I was called out for looking "American." The first question I often get upon meeting someone is, "So, what IS your ethnicity?"

For most of my life, I've been identified by my biracial background before anything else, and it has caused me to become conscious that people are at some inclination to look at me with a detective purpose. Through that, I have become self-conscious. I think about how in trying to possibly decipher my ethnicity, people will notice my acne scars, my freckles, the bump on my nose, and all the other flaws I see myself to have.

I was also bullied throughout my school years, with varying degrees of severity. I was made fun of through racial slurs and derogatory stereotypes. I was once bullied for my weight which spiraled me into what was dangerously close to an eating disorder, and I experienced slut-shaming. I couldn't understand why I was experiencing this and subconsciously attributed it to my ethnicity, since after all, it was the thing that made me different.

God's Answer To My Insecurity

Truthfully, when your appearance has been the believed source of so much rejection and teasing, it's hard to appreciate and love what God gave you. But as I was tossing around in bed the other night, debating if I should write this and be at risk for harmful comments, this verse came into my head:

"[T]hou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." — Mark 12:30

Jesus was asked what the two greatest commandments were, and the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. Now, if you aren't Biblical, my point is still applicable to the Golden Rule you're probably familiar with: treat others how you want to be treated. These two commandments are clear I should treat everyone with respect, but I've never considered the treatment I need to show myself. I am asked to give the same amount of kindness to others as I give myself, meaning there is an expectation for me to love myself first so that I may love others accordingly. For those of you well-acquainted with "Ru Paul's Drag Race," it's essentially when Ru says, "If you can't love yourself, how in the HELL are you going to love somebody else?"

Moving Forward

Now, I know this isn't always the case. People are able to love others wholeheartedly while struggling to love themselves. However, what I'm trying to get at is if the universal Golden Rule and God's greatest commandment calls for us to love ourselves then this is a pretty big deal.

There are power and strength in loving yourself. It's OK to have a healthy dose of vanity or to be comfortable in your skin! Modern culture has nurtured unrealistic beauty standards, leading you and me to believe we were never made to be beautiful. But it's time to ignore social media. It's time to understand that there are various forms of beauty. It's time to understand that just because it's not typical or accepted doesn't mean it's less valued.

I've come to realize that my looks aren't all that I am. My worth isn't calculated by my race, how many boys are attracted to me, or the things people call me. I am the only person who chooses how I feel about myself. I define who I am, not the world.

So, in saying all of this, I'm making a promise to myself to remember I am beautiful, confident, and kind.

I hope you are able to do the same.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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If You Want Proof That God Exists, Just Look Around You At The World He Created

None of it is an accident.

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It has always baffled me that people can truly believe the world was created by accident. It's like saying that Leonardo Di Vinci closed his eyes, tipped over a few cans of paint, and miraculously created the Mona Lisa. Nothing that beautiful is an accident. I believe that the truest and rawest testimony to Christianity is the universe itself. A proclamation of its creator.

When I need to be reminded how great our God is, I simply just look around me.

Romans 1:20 says, "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God."

The Bible is telling us here that everything has a purpose. The world is not this beautiful by accident. Every purple sunset was intricately designed. Each rise and fall of the tide was crafted by the creator.

Look around you.

The Northern lights are not simply a coincidence. It is no accident that people's hands are gifted with such divine talents to create wonders like the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal. There is a reason that your favorite song has such transcendent and heavenly beauty, as it escaped from the lungs that God created and gifted with talent. It is all of him; it is all from and for him.

He doesn't make mistakes.

There is a reason that we yearn for these beautiful things. That we long to glimpse sunsets and travel the world and hear beautiful music and see beautiful people. It is because we are heavenly creations, and seeing these marks of God's wonder bring us closer to him and remind of our true and divine pace in his kingdom. These beautiful things are little marks of God's divinity, and they remind us where we belong.

They are the reason our hearts constantly ache for something more.

And you are a mark of his beauty as well. The fact that of the billions of trillions of atoms that make up the matter that make up the universe were brought together in an intricate and perfect enough way to create a unique human being who could never be copied are replicated. You are a miracle. And your very body and soul are living proof that God exists. Nothing is an accident. Nothing.

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