It is a new week and a new day and I’m so glad you could join me as we continue our journey toward renewing our minds and improving our self-discipline. If you’re just joining me, you can read my article, “Morning and Evening: A New Self Discipline Journey” to learn more about why I am doing this, and how this may benefit you as well.
This week we are going to focus each day on developing healthy relationships. Each day this week I will provide affirmations, scriptures, and daily challenges regarding this topic. Next week will be a new one!
With that said, let’s start our morning together!
Before we begin let us take some deep breaths to calm our mind and prepare us for this mornings discipline.
MUSIC FOR A NEW DAY
I personally like to have some soft music in the background, so if that’s something you like as well below you will find a song you can play for the duration of our time together.
PRAYER For Healthier Relationships
Now that we’re calm, let us transition to a time of prayer. Over the next few minutes you can pray on your own or feel free to use the following prayer:
Make me an instrument of your love. May I see each circumstance in my life as an opportunity to grow in your love. May I see my environment as a place to grow in your love. May I then take this love to other people…
When I am tempted to become impatient, help me to be patient.
When I am tempted to become unkind, help me to be kind.
When I am tempted to become jealous, help me to be tolerant.
When I am tempted to become boastful or proud, help me give you the glory.
When I am tempted to be rude or selfish, give me the gift of gentlness.
When I am tempted to take offense, help me to let go.
When I am tempted to become angry with someone, give me the gift of forgiveness.
When I am tempted to become resentful, give me your power to love.
Lord, grant that I may take no pleasure in criticizing others, but that I may see good in them as you do. When I begin to concentrate on the faults and failures of others, give me courage to praise their accomplishments.
Help me to be loyal to those you give me to love. Help me to believe in them, even when they do not believe in themselves. To expect the best from them, but accept the best they can give. May I always defend them, as you always defend me.
All gifts and powers come from you. All will come to an end. With one important exception, the gift of love!! Lord, when I was a child I thought like a child, I acted like a child, and I reasoned like a child. Now that I have become an adult, I release my childish ways.
AmenSt. Josephs Prep School | Prayer for Loving Others
AFFIRMATIONS for Healthier Relationships
Here are a few affirmations for this morning that you can put in your pocket and carry with you throughout your day.
As you read through them, repeat each one out loud at least three times before moving to the next. Take your time. Close your eyes and say them to yourself as well. Let these words sink into your heart and mind this morning:
- I will walk with a light burden knowing Jesus has exchanged mine for his.
- I am a unique and wonderful creation.
- Today will be a great day and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
- I will love others because I am loved.
SCRIPTURES For Healthier Relationships
As Christians, our affirmations should be rooted in the strength and power of God who empowers us and strengthens us to face every trial and every day (both good and bad).
Here are some scriptures that further support the affirmations we just spoke to ourselves. Again, repeat each one three times out loud before moving to the next one. Take your time. Maybe try to commit these to memory as well:
- Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
- Psalm 139:14, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.”
- Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
- 1 John 4:11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Our challenge today is this: learn to better love yourself so you can learn to better love others.
This is a strange one because the thought of loving yourself almost sounds selfish, doesn’t it? Except it’s not and it’s actually a command God gave to us and that Jesus reiterated when asked what the most important command from God was:
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”Matthew 22:37-39 NLT
You see, Jesus said the greatest commandment was loving God and the second was loving others as you love yourself. But how can you love others when you feel like you don’t love yourself?
If I had to guess, this is likely a question and struggle for many people every day. Many struggle with the way they look, with their behaviors or habits, with seeing their own value, and many many other layers of self loathing (the opposite of self loving). When they look in the mirror they don’t smile because they don’t like who they are and what they see looking back.
Unfortunately, it seems like this idea of “self love” often times gets overlooked or played down in the Church…but my friends, that will not be the case here at eagerforTRUTH. We acknowledge the need for self love (not selfishness) as a vital step toward loving others and see today’s challenge as a big one.
So how do we love ourselves better so we can love others better?
Here are 5 ideas to give you a place to start:
- Let go of your past sins and mistakes, and forgive yourself. Seriously, let them go. Stop carrying them everywhere you go. The past is gone and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Jesus took care of those on the cross and he forgave. In fact, He has told you that he wants to exchange his burden for yours because his is light. (Matthew 11:29)
- Don’t compare yourself to others. You are not them, and they are not you. You are uniquely and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and you don’t need to find validation for yourself by keeping up with someone else. Be who God made you to be.
- Find contentment with where you are. Embrace where you are at in this very moment, because the only moment you are promised is the one you are currently in (Psalm 27:1). The past is gone, and the future has not yet come. The present is where you exist. Find a way to be good with that and make the most of it.
- Set boundaries for yourself and for others. It’s OK to say no to some things (remember, we talked about this a couple weeks ago). It’s OK to not be OK with having toxic and/or abusive people around you at all times (or at any time). Establish some boundaries to help protect your time, your mind, and your relationships. Others may not be OK with this when you do establish the boundaries, but in order to love yourself and love others boundaries are necessary. So don’t let someone else deter from you this important step simply because they don’t like it. I promise you and the relationship will benefit from it in the long run.
- Start a journal. In this journal you could write about the things you are grateful for. You can write about the ways God has answered your prayers. You can write positive affirmations for yourself to recite when you feel negativity coming on. There are many things you can do with a journal to help you keep your mind on the right track.
Again, these are just a starting place, and certainly not an exhaustive list. Research other ways you can better love yourself, and as you learn to love yourself watch how you begin to better love others.
NOTE: If you’re not sure where to start, a resource I always recommend in this area is Dr. Caroline leaf, who has lots of content and resources on her website, as well as a blog and podcast and several YouTube videos out there. Check her out!
Quote of the Day
I also wanted to include a little quote of the day that maybe you’ll find some inspiration in as well.
Today’s quote comes from author Katie Davis Majors:
It is a bit of a mess, this business of love. As more and more people enter our lives, we are left with no choice but to enter theirs as well. Even more so, over time their pains become our pain and their joys become our joy and this sharing of the Gospel becomes a sharing of life.
This, at first glance, seems so burdensome, so overwhelming, but somehow I have found it to not be any longer. Something about shouldering the burdens of another brings a lightness to our own affliction. We are in it together, and Christ is in it with us.Katie Davis Majors, “Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful”
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