In 1976 John Stallings penned a hymn called “Learning To Lean.” I remember singing that song in my youth. The words still strike a chord with me. The chorus of the song says, “Finding more power than I’d ever dreamed. I’m learning to lean on Jesus.” I suppose that makes sense to me because Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.” The best place to lean is on Jesus! We need to trust in Him.
How can that thought of learning to lean on Jesus help my Christian walk? One way is to fulfill the greatest commands of the Lord. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Then, he went on to say, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). When we learn to lean on Jesus we will learn how to love our God, love our neighbor, and love ourselves. But how can we love ourselves?
The challenge of Matthew 22 is for us to learn to love more effectively. The implication is clear, that before you can love others you must have a healthy sense of self love. If you don’t love yourself, and accept yourself for how you have been created, then there’s little hope that you will love and trust your Creator. It is God’s will that we learn to unconditionally love and accept Him, ourselves, and anyone else. Can you say that you have that kind of love?
If you could find self-acceptance and self-esteem, your life of faith will flourish. Your love for God will endure. And your love for others would be so powerful that forgiveness would always be available. This sounds so easy to say and teach, but do we practice these things? Do you build yourself up by reminding yourself on your value?
We live in a generation when there’s more inferiority, lower self-esteem, and little respect for human life. This is a poor time in the history of humanity. Parents haven’t nurtured their children. Children haven’t respected and honored their parents. There is corruption in our courtrooms and with our judges. Entertainment and media give us a false narrative. We cannot trust our society for the answers. God's word reminds us that the purpose of God is to save humanity, because He loved us first (I John 4:19). Do you believe this fact?
If we would learn to love and value ourselves, God will receive the glory! You are made in His image. And, if your a Christian, you are being transformed into the image of Jesus. You have eternal value!
Find a way to lean on Jesus. Trust in Him with all your heart. Don’t reflect on your own wisdom and understanding. Know that God loves you and that you should love yourself. Remember that Jesus died for you and every other human being on this planet. Give love a chance!
You are loved!
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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