Becoming Best Friends With Yourself!

Benjamin Franklin said: “A true friend is the best possession.” You can have a bank account full of money, live in the biggest house in the neighborhood, drive the newest, fanciest and coolest car, dress in the finest styles and still be lonely, miserable and frustrated with life. On the other hand, you can live in a one room shack, with little to no money, walk everywhere you go, wear the same clothes every day and be connected, happy and fulfilled in life if you have just one good friend.

Someone said: “To have a friend, you have to be a friend!” And that is some excellent and very true advice. I want to take it a step further today and say: “To be a friend to others, you first have to be a friend to yourself.” If you want others to love you, accept you and walk with you, then you have got to love yourself, accept yourself and be willing to walk with yourself wherever “yourself” may be taking you.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:12-13

Live life long enough and we will face rejection. Rejection hurts and is not fun at all, but if we pay close attention when rejection comes our way, we will realize that it often starts with us. So many times, we waste away our lives and living waiting on someone, anyone to accept us, love us and be a friend with us, when we don’t even accept ourselves, love ourselves or be a friend with ourselves.

We need to acknowledge our weaknesses and learn from them, but we don’t need to allow them to keep us from being our very own best friend. After all, what is a good friend? A good friend is one, who accepts us, not matter how screwed up we may be. We cannot expect others to love and accept us, if we do not love and accept ourselves. So start a new friendship today with yourself. Love yourself like you have never been loved. Accept yourself by learning and growing from your mistakes and by appreciating and amplifying your successes.

When we begin to see the good in ourselves, then others will see it too. What we focus on gets the attention, so focus on what makes you a good friend by being a good friend to yourself …

Mercy – The Gift Of Not Getting What You Deserve!

Someone said: Grace is getting what we don’t deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve!” And I think that sums it up pretty well. We talk a lot about grace and most of us seem to be pretty good at sharing it, at least with people that we like?!?

Mercy is often a little bit more of a challenge. I don’t think it’s because we don’t need it or because we have not receieved it. I think it’s probably because we don’t want to admit to ourselves or others that we need it, but we do need it and in a more desperate way than we might imagine.

The fact that we are sitting here, reading these words is a testimony to the reality that God gives us mercy, because everyone of us should have been taken off of the board a long time ago, but God, Who is rich in mercy, loves us and had seen fit to forgive us and give us space and grace to grow into what He knows we can be.

If we will be honest with ourselves, we can look back on our lives and see time after time where we have made mistakes, missed the mark, not measured up, just flat blown it, but God is loving, patient, kind, gracious and merciful. Look back – can you see it? It’s beautiful, when you actually take the time to look back and aprreciate it.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” -Matthew 18:21-22

Now if God shows us mercy for our mistakes/sins/failures and allows us to begin again, then we should do the very same thing for one another. God’s gifts of love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and restoration are woven into the tapesty of the Universe for all of us to receive and share.

Be sure to take all of the good things that God has given you and share them with others and one of the greatest ways to do that is by not giving people the wrath, judgment and condemnation we think they might deserve, but instead the gifts of love, grace and mercy. Now that is a beautiful gift that keeps on giving…