It's so easy to trick myself, so easy to fool myself into believing lies about who I am. From July 30th to August 24th I was miserable. I hated who I was, I hated everything about myself, and I had no joy. I was a sinner, and I could not separate myself from the sin. For three weeks sadness and darkness were pressing closer to me than they ever had before, and I could do nothing but write angst-filled journal entries and wait it out.
And then my hands were pried off my ears and I was forced to see - those three weeks were about selfishness, not grief, they were a self-induced trial when I preferred to wallow in my own self-pity than attempt to live like the new creation God had made me to be. I had confused the fight inside of me, forgetting the justified self was not the same as the sin nature self. In those three weeks I learned that hate is selfishness, but love is self-less.
But now I find myself sliding into the same dangerous territory of selfishness. But the scenery is new and different and attractive. The snare is not that I hate myself, but that I like myself. I think I'm kind of okay sometimes. And this hurts more to admit, this subtle indulgence of pride, because I am not out of the woods yet and I think this sin runs deeper than I even realize now. What I am learning as I stumble forward, self-love is selfish, but love is self-less.
Still, every time I turn to look, both now and during those three weeks last summer, God was there, God is there, God is love, and He is watching me, guiding me, and He has promised me victory. Not in my strength, but in His love. 1st Peter 4:8 runs in a loop through my head, "Love covers a multitude of sins." He is taking my frail understanding of love and replacing it with something deeper, something self-less, that I might really understand that God is love.
And no one can see such love and not be changed.