Be kind to yourself: How to make life's most important change

If you can be kind to yourself, you will see such an important change in your life that you'll make giant leaps forward in just about every area.

Somewhere in the past 2,000 years, Christianity got the idea that one of the most worthwhile things you can do is beat yourself up. Theologians identified pride as one of the worst possible sins and they did everything possible to make us ashamed of it.

While there's a legitimate aspect to being on guard against pride, the pendulum has swung too far the other way. The overemphasis on humility has caused most Christians--especially singles--to be wracked with guilt whenever they feel good about themselves.

Huh?

Children of God, not worms

The old "I'm just a worm in the dust" outlook is wrong. No, Christians are children of God, adopted into the family of The King. Would Jesus Christ have died on the cross for worms? He died for human beings worth saving: you and me.

If you feel you're worthless, it's impossible to be kind to yourself. So let's correct that mistake right now. God sees you as a person of infinite worth. As singer Ethel Waters said, "I am somebody 'cause God don't make no junk."

God sent Jesus to die for you. God created heaven for you. The Bible and God's actions testify over and over that you are loved and cherished.

If you're not Christian? Hey, there's always time to jump on the train!

Be kind to yourself physically

One of the measures of your self-worth is how you treat your body. Do you abuse it with drugs, alcohol, or food? We singles can get into bad habits, and before we know it, that occasional indulgence becomes a way of life.

Do you punish your body because you don't like your circumstances? No, the way to change your circumstances is to first start respecting yourself. Eat a healthy diet whenever you can. Treat your body knowing that actions have consequences. Little things add up. It's too easy to slip into a routine that can cause irreparable harm years from now. Spare yourself future pain by taking good care of yourself now:

  • Get adequate sleep
  • Limit or eliminate junk food
  • Keep yourself clean and well groomed
  • Wear attractive clothes and jewelry
  • Drive safely
  • Stop comparing your looks to models and movie stars


If you are disabled, understand that God is not punishing you. Disability is a mystery you will only understand in heaven, but know that God will give you as much of his love and strength as you ask for. That was my experience when I battled cancer.

Be kind to yourself emotionally

If you were to monitor your self-talk for a week, what would you hear? Do you call yourself stupid or ugly or clumsy? Do you continually tell yourself you can't accomplish things or do you think you can accomplish things?

Do you run yourself down or build yourself up?

I'm sure you have critics already. You don't need to criticize yourself. You're doing the best you can; you don't need to berate yourself when something doesn't work out. Mourn it for a bit but move on.

A positive attitude will make you feel better. You'll be more hopeful. Instead of regretting past mistakes, look forward to new opportunities:

  • Try new things; it puts spice in life
  • Make a game out of improving yourself a little each day
  • Get a hobby to offset stress
  • Learn to laugh at yourself
  • Give yourself an occasional small reward for doing something difficult
  • Build on your positive qualities
  • Congratulate yourself instead of scolding yourself
  • Be kind to others; it's God's desire

When you go to bed at night, instead of replaying your disappointments and grudges, reflect on what you're doing right. Get in the habit of making your self-talk helpful instead of hurtful.

Be kind to yourself spiritually

We all have spiritual truths buried deep in our hearts, but we tend to forget them because we don't review them on a regular basis. Here's what you should be telling yourself daily, because the Bible says so:

These are the great principles of Christianity. Never entertain the thought that you might be cursed because you're a single person. It's simply not true. You can never judge God's love for you based on your circumstances. Much of life is a mystery to me, but I am certain about God's love for his people.

This life is not the end of your story. It's just the beginning.

This world is flawed because of sin. After The Fall, everything was ruined. That's why God created heaven for his followers. It's not a myth or fairy tale. It's real. Jesus promised it and he always makes good on his promises.

Know how God sees you, friend. Establishing an accurate understanding of his love for you is the ultimate way to be kind to yourself.


Return to top of be kind to yourself.