There is a clear connection between our personal mental, emotional, and spiritual health and the health of our relationships. In yesterdays blog I wrote about how to develop your own mental emotional and spiritual health and how in so doing you will develop your relationships. Today I want to give you a simple plan for assuring your health in these 3 areas with 3 simple but profound steps:
1. Recognize Your Significance As God’s Masterpiece
Here is an excerpt from the 1st chapter of my book Life Palette to help this sink in: “You are a masterpiece. How do I know? Because God says so. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) You may not feel like it at the moment. You may look at your life and see yourself as someone whose life is out of balance, headed in the wrong direction, or even a complete failure. Or perhaps you have a sense of agreement with being a masterpiece, not so much because you truly believe it, but because you know it’s the right thing to believe. Perhaps you’re like Stuart Smalley, the Saturday Night Live character, looking in the mirror and trying to convince yourself, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and, doggone it, people like me!” Wherever you are, it’s tiring trying to recognize your own priceless value when you don’t feel it inside or see it in how you live your life.
Your mental, emotional, and spiritual health begins with the recognition that you are God’s masterpiece and in Him you will discover your significance. There is nothing you can do or have done to make Him love you any less or any more than He does right now because He loves you completely and unconditionally.
2. Live Life With Genuine Authenticity
Nobody likes a fake; you especially don’t like it when you feel you are being a fake. Be yourself. As God’s masterpiece He has created you with gifts, talents, personality, and passions that make you who you truly are. Make a commitment to living according to how He has created you. Let me give a brief warning here: this is not an excuse for living in sin. Our entire makeup has a potential sinful side because we live in a sinful environment; we live in the fullness of the masterpiece He created us to be by yielding all of our lives to Him and assuring that we are lining up with His Word.
“Paul teaches in Romans 6:13: “Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” Yield to the master artist through daily obedience.” (Quote from Chapter 8 of my book Life Palette)
3. Love Yourself
You may be thinking: “seriously? Love myself?” Yes, Love yourself. These are not my words, these are Jesus words: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:39 NLT) To add value to your relationships you have to be healthy; mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You can only be healthy in these 3 areas and express that love and health to others when you love yourself. In fact according to Jesus’ statement you will not be able to love others if you don’t first love yourself. Jesus makes it very clear that our vertical relationship with God and our horizontal relationships are closely connected. The best way you can love yourself is to build your relationship with God on a daily basis. The more you do this the more you will have a healthy understanding of who you are as His child and who you are in Christ – His masterpiece. This will not lead to an arrogant, cocky selfish love for self, rather a humble understanding of the fact that you are worth the cross of Christ.
Next Steps Towards Health:
Consider how you can put this simple plan for your mental, emotional, and spiritual health into action today. What is one thing you can do right now to act? Remember, this will also add value to all of your relationships – it may be the most important thing you do for others in your life today.