A great aspect of emotional health is to love yourself! While this may seem to contradict scripture, loving yourself is the only way for you to experience healthy relationships. We should hold tremendous value for ourselves simply because we were created in the likeness and image of God! We should love ourselves because Christ has made us a new creation. There are endless spiritual reasons we should love ourselves. Jesus said, Love your neighbor as yourself. Until I have the right sense of value for myself, I will never have the proper value for God or others in my life. In Christ, I have become acceptable both to God and to myself!
As a new believer, the starting place for the walk of faith should revolve around our identity in Christ. I must believe I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Everything about who we are has changed. We must discover and embrace this new identity or we will be doomed to continue selling our soul for acceptance.
In fact, many believers fall into a deeper pattern of role playing (MPD) and self-rejection after becoming a believer. They are so adept at putting on these masks that they never miss a beat; they simply Christianize the MPD disorder. They come into the Kingdom of God, but instead of discovering their new identity they discover who their new group of peers wants them to be. At first, the changes falsely indicate they are living the victorious Christian life. But in time they discover an emptiness and rejection that is even more painful than what they were experiencing in the world! When all the new feelings wear off, they are still pretending to be who they are not and discovering new depths of emptiness and disappointment.
This is the track that leads most Christians away from grace and into dead works. The Christian life becomes a life of “acting” like a Christian in certain environments and acting like a different person in other environments. This is the road to religious performance. It is this very “trying to be who we think we should be,” instead of simply coming to know Christ and be who we are in Jesus that renders us powerless and deeply conflicted. When a believer changes who they are for acceptance, by both the church and the world, the results are the same. Both are totally destructive! (part 5 coming soon)