Love Series: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself| By Rachel Lukinovich

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A gardener was walking through his field one day and stood in front of one of his cherished trees. It was a medium-sized tree, with tiny white flowers flourishing all over.

He said, “wow, what a beautiful tree! I truly am blown away with this one!”

A worker next to him said, “I think this tree is okay, but the flowers are a little weird.”

The gardener reassured the worker that he, the gardener, was the only one who can see the full beauty of this tree because he is the one who invested his life into caring for it.

He then cut off a branch, only to find that the inside was weak and brittle. The worker was surprised, but the gardener was sorrowful because he gave the tree everything it needed to be strong and confident.

This is what I imagine insecurity can look like. Sometimes it is obvious and the whole tree produces little to no flowers because of its weakness, but sometimes the tree seems healthy on the outside and can feel the exact opposite on the inside.

No one really wants to admit it, but as women we struggle all too often with this. Have you ever said these words to yourself?

“What were they thinking about me?”

“Why do I ALWAYS do that?”

“Why can’t I be more like her?”

These thoughts replayed way too often in my brain after awkward encounters with people. It only increased as the Lord placed me in ministry and again when I became a mother. Areas of insecurity were exposed that I never thought were there. Although it did not cause me to shy away, it definitely affected my emotions and consumed brain time when it was unnecessary. I was once that flowering tree mentioned above, seemingly healthy on the outside, but sometimes weak and brittle on the inside.

You see, we don’t want to admit this weakness because we think it’s embarrassing, and others will think less of us.  As a result, we put on a facade as though we have it all together. Let’s just expose this for what it really is- a strategy of the devil. He wants to rob the security of who we are in Jesus. He thrives on us comparing ourselves to others and judging them. He does whatever it takes to steal our attention from how much our Gardener loves us and cares for us, resulting in insecurity and incomplete love for others.

When I saw the strategy of the enemy for what it really was, I made the choice to truly receive my father’s love for me, found security and acceptance from Him, and in return, was able to love others more completely.

“The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:31

When I dismissed the devil’s lies and received God’s truth about me from His Word, I could more fully walk in the freedom He has given me and truly love my neighbor as myself more effectively.

Judgements and comparisons no longer bound me from loving others, regardless of who the person is.

You see, Jesus saw our full beauty all along. He literally gave His life for it. We cannot let the enemy rob us of what is already ours – security, freedom, and most importantly love.

The victory is ours, ladies!

 

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