Why do some people show great respect for others, while treating themselves with contempt? Of course, there are those who despise other people as well as themselves. It goes hand in hand with the struggle to love oneself. They simply have difficulty with self-respect. Ironically, they want others to respect them; but when they fail to respect themselves, others tend to do disrespect them as well. Unfortunately, some desire others’ respect, so they may grant themselves permission to value themselves. It is a vicious cycle. Whether it is love, respect or worth, the source of value makes all the difference in the world. It really begins with a person’s belief system. What people believe to be true will influence their point of view. What they believe about God, people and the world around them will affect the way they interact with them. Likewise, the way people view their selves will determine the level of self-respect they will have.
What is your world-view? How do you see God, others and yourself? Here is the bigger question, what do you believe about the way God thinks about you? Okay self-despisers, do you think it makes God happy when you disrespect yourselves? Has it occurred to you that if He created you, then redeemed you with the Precious Blood of Jesus, He values you? If you are His son or daughter, do you think the Father would want others to treat you well? If you answered yes, why then, would you not treat yourself the same way?
Respecting ourselves does not mean we demand respect from others. That kind of demand has an opposite affect on people. If anything, it causes them to despise those who demand it. It is contrary to the nature of God. Meekness is part of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). It is a very strong character trait to embrace; yet, some mistake it for weakness. In essence, it is gentleness or restrained strength. It does not insist on having its own way, just as love does not insist on its own way. When you respect yourself in a godly fashion, people will respect you. That does not necessarily mean they will love you. With self-respect comes dignity. Pride in your self is the counterfeit of true nobility. Godly dignity is the result of being a child of the Most High. Because Jesus made us kings and priests, we are nobility (see Revelation 1:5-6). When we walk as Jesus walked, Who is the King of kings, we will serve people well. That is dignity in motion. When Jesus walked the earth, He did not demand people respect Him, even though He could have by all rights. In fact, even today, He does not insist on it. Although, the time will come when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess He is Lord (see Philippians 2:10-11).
Perhaps you blew it somewhere in life and feel unworthy. That is a forgiveness issue. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (KJV). If God forgave you, then forgive yourself. Remember that we are righteous in Christ Jesus, so you do not have the right to declare yourself unworthy (see 2Corinthians 5:21). Some need to rid themselves of self-pity and get on with life.
Respecting yourself means treating yourself well. It means managing your self in a good way because you are bought with a price and you are not your own. You belong to God (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Why not take care of yourself in the way the Father desires? It is time to stop degrading and neglecting yourself. Stop sabotaging yourself by putting yourself in positions where you get hurt. Jesus is worthy of all of us putting away the destructive habits we may have developed over the years. He paid the price for you to have dignity. Respect yourself, for God’s sake!