How Can You Love Yourself and Others in a Culture Obsessed with Material Wealth and Perfectionism?


We live in a cultural time where most people are lovers of material things more than people. My family and I live as Biblical as we possibly can in an ever over-consuming world.  When we really like something we express how much we enjoy what the Good Lord provides. In the end, all of this stuff is just stuff – People are more important than stuff.  We make mistakes, we give each other grace, and we keep moving forward without condemnation. We are just doing our best not to be over consumed by loving things more than we love people.

I was inspired to write this because I believe through Christ I have overcome the obsession with perfectionism. I used to love things particularly creating art and having things look perfect more than loving God.  I am thankful that The Lord has mercy and saved my life from the emptiness that comes from loving things more than people. I am most certainly not where I would like to be, but Thank God I am not where I used to be in this area.

Remember materialism and perfectionism are the devils little foxes that spoil the vine. Please take note that the world’s definition of perfection and God’s definition of perfection are very different. Please do not make the same mistake I made and believe they both work together because they don’t. If you are interested in the subject, please take some time to look at the biblical definition of perfection and do a personal study on the matter.

 After learning about this particular topic, my family and I have found out that loving material things more than God is considered idolatry and is not acceptable in the Kingdom of God. So we’ve settled with ourselves and each other to emphasize loving The Lord with all our hearts, mind, and souls- then love people as we love ourselves. Just because we’ve settled with this truth doesn’t mean we are good at putting this into action. This isn’t an over night thing, please really let that one sink in. Love doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not found in religion. Love is found in relationship. This kind of love takes time and it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. I do believe that the heart of God;  just like every loving parent is more invested in the relationship than the outward results of behavior.

 

 

What Does Love Really Mean?


It truly takes the power of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit to really love..

Let’s take a moment to look at what Scripture says about love in 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13 New Living Translation (NLT)

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

 

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

 


 

So how can you love yourself and others in a biblical context while living in a culture that is obsessed with vanity, material wealth, and perfectionism?

The answer is still found in 1 Corinthians 13, it takes time and effort to love this way, but through the power of the Holy Spirit – this kind of love is perfected in Christ and obtainable. Hallelujah! I have not arrived but I am on the way.

 

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 

 


 

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to really love God, love myself, and others. I really don’t want hit and miss results here.  I really want to love the way Jesus loves me.  So I began to pray about it. I have asked the Lord to help me articulate 1 Corinthians 13 into my every day life. Please take note this is a little reminder for me on how to love others on a moment to moment basis.  We all have our own interpretation of the word love based on experiences-So let’s all just keep growing towards the real definition of love from a biblical context. I  know that I am learning and growing in this area daily and as I grow- I am making many mistakes but God is so good He even makes my mistakes to prosper.

Please enjoy this free Scripture printable of 1 Corinthians 13


The Simplicity of loving yourself and others means

  • Renew your mind and keep it set on the finished work of Jesus Christ ( living from a place of the resurrection)
  • Guarding your heart above all else
  • Set healthy and realistic goals for yourself
  • Have healthy boundaries in place for everyone including yourself
  • Saying no more often ( let people experience disappointment, it will help them understand you are not a doormat)
  • Only committing yourself to what you can accomplish in each season of life.
  • Eat frequently, hydrate, and get plenty of rest ( No staying up late to craft)
  • Speak kindly to yourself and others even when things go unexpectedly
  • Have plenty of Do- overs ( in case you haven’t practiced this before a do over simply means- I messed up and I need to do that thing I should have done right over again)
  • Do not over work yourself ( do what you can with the time you have and save the rest for the next day)
  • Start doing one thing at a time, multi-tasking triggers frustration, anger, and isn’t bringing productivity.
  • Do not rush yourself on the account of someone else’s impatience.
  • Stay committed to the calling God has for you. Remain loyal, faithful, and trustworthy.

I hope this blog article about How Can You Love Yourself and Others in a Culture Obsessed with Material Wealth and Perfectionism has been insightful and a blessing to you. Please make sure to download your free copy of the Scripture art I have included with this post.

Many Blessings,

Kristal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *