Thursday 16th June 2022
Written by Douglas Wheeler

Throughout the academic year universities across the country advertise various different courses and workshops intended to help students with university life. I usually ignore these notices, however a few months ago one of them caught my attention. It was an advertisement for a course which aimed to help participants show more compassion to themselves by being kind to themselves just as they would be to their best friend.
I couldn’t help but notice the overt anti-Biblical message being presented by this course. Nevertheless, the message that it presented is one which is prevalent in our modern culture: “love yourself”. We live in an age that is deeply obsessed with self.
As followers of Christ, we are called to a completely different way of living. 1 Corinthians 10:24 says that “no one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” Instead of showing compassion to ourselves, we are told to follow the example of our Saviour who was
“moved with compassion” for others on numerous occasions during His earthly ministry (Matthew 9:36, Matthew 14:14). Instead of loving ourselves as much as we love our neighbour, we are commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves.
But if we fail to show kindness to ourselves, how can we overcome our feelings of failure and guilt? The truth is that all of us have failed and all of us bear guilt. Looking inwards and telling ourselves that “it’s all ok” is an artificial fix that will only suppress the problem and drive us away from the solution. True freedom from these feelings can only come through the forgiveness of God. In Christ, God forgives us for all of our sins and declares us righteous. We no longer need to feel guilt within ourselves because we are no longer guilty before God.
So, rather than loving ourselves more, let us look to Christ who “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7) and in the ultimate show of true compassion offered up His life so that we might be forgiven.
Scottish Charity No. SCO07105

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Newton Mearns Baptist Church · 2 Greenfarm Road · Newton Mearns · GLASGOW, G77 6FA · United Kingdom