It All Starts with You

This article is by Joel Osteen


Did you know that the most important relationship you have is the relationship with yourself? Too many people don’t like who they are. They focus on their faults and weaknesses. They relive their mistakes and failures. They wish they were taller, had a better personality, and looked like their cousin instead of accepting themselves as a masterpiece, made in the image of God. Then they wonder why they’re not happy, and why they don’t have good relationships. It’s because they don’t like themselves. If you don’t get along with you, you’re not going to get along with other people.

Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Mark 12:31). You can’t love others if you don’t first love yourself. The best thing you can do for your family and friends is to be good to you, be kind to you, be merciful to you, be forgiving to you, be loving to you. You’re good to others, so why aren’t you good to you? You don’t criticize your friend, so why are you criticizing you? You compliment your coworker, so when’s the last time you complimented yourself? Start being good to you–that’s not being selfish, that’s loving yourself.

Too many people go through life feeling wrong inside, with this nagging feeling. I heard someone say, “I’ve discovered the enemy. It was me.” Are you your enemy? Are you defeating yourself, limiting your dream, sabotaging your relationships–all because you don’t like yourself? You have enough people and circumstances against you, so don’t be against yourself. Don’t think of everything you don’t like about yourself or relive your mistakes. “I wasted so much time doing the wrong things. I should have been more disciplined. I lost my temper yesterday.” Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with you, start focusing on what’s right with you. You have weaknesses, you’ve made mistakes–we all have–but there’s a lot more right with you than there is wrong.

Dwelling on the negative doesn’t help you do better. Beating yourself up for past mistakes doesn’t move you forward. The better you feel about yourself, the better you’ll do. The more you like yourself, the further you’ll go. You can’t give away what you don’t have. If you’re in turmoil inside, critical of yourself, feeling condemned, that’s what you have to give. If you’re hard on yourself, you’ll be hard on others. If you don’t forgive yourself, you won’t forgive others. If you don’t get along with you, how can you get along with your family? The best thing you can do is start being for you. When you love yourself, you can love others. When you’re kind to yourself, you can be kind to others. It all starts with you.

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