Love Your Self?
November 30, 2014
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guests: Jennifer Wentzel
(M) Well, we have a subject we’ve been on. In fact, it’s something I’ve been on for a long time, asking the Lord some questions about narcissism, which is rampant now and self-hatred and its effects and where it comes from and where people become so narcissistic that they care nothing for anyone else. And the Lord’s kind of opened up the mystery of it. And I did a Message of the month called “Overcoming Self-Hatred” for December. And when I began to talk about it the Lord really gave me quite an anointing on it. Didn’t He? It was very passionate. And I think He solved some questions that I’ve had. It seems that a lot of people appear to love themselves, but I’m discovering that that’s a lie. It’s an attempt to love yourself. It’s an attempt to be loveable, and most of the time it comes from childhood issues. Most of the time I didn’t have this as a child, so it’s been kind of… I didn’t have this impossible standard. It didn’t have legalism. I was allowed… I had very high standards of integrity in my parents, but I didn’t have… They didn’t require of me more than I could perform as a child. They let me be a child. So it’s been quite a mystery to me, a mystery that I wanted to solve, and I think we’ve, in our group, we’ve had a lot of dealings with this since that tape, and a lot of revelation about it, and beginning to have a lot of revelation about love, and how to live loved. Jennifer, you had an insight a few minutes ago. You want to share it?
(Jennifer) I was reminded of in 1st John 4 where He says, “We love because He first loved us,” that we are not by design initiators of love. It’s almost as if we’re meant to be catalyzed by His love and led by it and guided by it, and mentored by it; everything. And we don’t know how to love apart from Him, but we were made to be loved, and we were made to love. And so we try and try and try, and I’ve just never seen before the aspect of self-hatred that was in fact disappointed, failed attempts to love myself; to get love for myself. It’s pride; it’s all pride that you would turn it back in on that, but I think of the many things that I’ve done not just to get love, but to pursue what felt like self-respect, not in the right way. Something that I could point to and say, “See, you’re not so bad. Here’s part of you that’s good.” Something that I could hold on to and therefore love; love myself in. I did want that. I just never managed to do it successfully, you know? It’s like Wiley Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner. That was me trying to love myself. Fail, fail, fail all over the place. And it just, I just really never saw that part of it before. I thought it was always, you know, hating what I couldn’t be, you know? I was very focused on that side of it. You know, of course that’s a big part of it, the pride, the shame, the refusal to accept the reality of who I am and what my limits are, and to be OK with that, to accept that; to instead fight against it by turning on myself and ripping me to shreds. But I never saw before the times when I would try to love myself and do it badly and just flail all over myself again for that; for not being there. I never saw before that by design, I think, I am made to be loved and to love including myself. And so that desire is there to love myself, to be at peace with myself, to be content. That desire is there. I just could never get there. I just never saw that before that that is part of it too, that I’m by design, I’m made to have that. So without loving myself there is a part of me that is not in tact.
(M) I’ve been thinking about the command of God, the first commandment that you love Him with everything, and you love your neighbor as yourself, and that there are three parties we’re called to love. And I talked about that on the tape of the month, but I’ll just say that He taught me how to love myself early on when He was teaching how to live. He said to me, “You don’t like being human; nobody does.” You just described it, Jennifer. To be human is frustrating. You’re always stumbling over yourself, and we have instinctively such a desire to be perfect or better or something better than we are. And so we’re perpetually disappointed. But when He taught me to love myself it was not about any of those things. It was simply to love existing, because He made me exist, and to love being me because He made me. It had nothing to do with performance or achievement or anything but simple letting Him love me and loving His love for me and feeling loved. And of course the point of my tape was the enormous attack of the enemy on that healthy self-love and self-respect. And He taught me also that you had to do the right thing to have respect for yourself. You had to have integrity in order to respect yourself and be able to love yourself. And I remember thinking one time… He asked me to do something, I don’t remember what it was in obedience. It was kind of radical as I remember. And I did it and it was awful. It was just awful repercussions to me, and I thought, “Well, it was ok. I obeyed Him. I respect myself for obeying Him, knowing I was going to pay.” But He just told me to be at peace with myself because He was. And that eliminates pride, when it’s already… You said it, Jennifer. When you’re already loved, there’s no need for pride. There’s no need for arrogance. There’s no need for accomplishment. There’s no need to be anything special. And, you know, I can’t say that that wasn’t enormously attacked, because it is His command that we love ourselves. And He teaches us how to do that. But it has to do with His love, so you really hit… We didn’t talk about this in the tape of the month, so it’s good that you’ve brought this up. But I think I discovered through someone’s very, very frank and amazingly true, truthful confession to me. From what she admitted, it has made me rich. She said, “Narcissists don’t love themselves. They hate themselves, and they’re desperately trying to avoid seeing how much they hate themselves. And I know that narcissists are trying to be loved and dare not make any confession of any wrong because then… In childhood that gained such rejection and contempt that it’s too risky to confess. And so that’s the beauty of the Body of Christ, that you come to know that the more you’re human, the more you’re loved, and the more you have a connection, And the more you’re honest and vulnerable, the more you’re loved, because it’s just human. We are not angels. So, it’s helped me understand people who cannot ever admit they’re wrong. They cannot, they will lie. They will compromise. They will do anything but admit their vulnerability, their need for love, and their mistakes. So, I think Body life is such a place when you can be transparent, and the more transparent you are the more you love and the more you’re loved, because we can connect with our frailty and our sheepness. We can connect on that ground, where we can’t connect with perfection. We cannot be perfect, and we can’t connect with it.
(Jennifer) Ok, and on that score I want to say something that’s personal without being detailed, if that makes any sense. I have a very different story from yours, Martha, very different, very different. And, you know, before I was saved, I really couldn’t ever see a world in which you and I would in any way be kindred spirits, so to speak. And it wasn’t about the difference. It wasn’t about the age difference. It wasn’t about the fact that, you know, you were married and had kids and grandkids, and I am alone. The differences weren’t what seemed like an impossibility to me. What’s seemed like an impossibility was how much more on the surface it seemed to me I had really, really gone down the road of rebellion, of sin, of all those things. And you’ve always said, you know, people go different lengths down that road before they come to the Lord; if they come to the Lord. And I knew even not being truly born again at that time. I thought that’s just an impasse. It’s an impasse to have life stories where I had this level of blackening on me. And the crazy thing was when I was actually born again and when I was His, all of that dissipated, because at the end of the day, you were in the truth of your story. And yes, your story is vastly different from mine. But you were in the truth of your story, so there was no problem whatsoever for me. My story is very different from yours, and it matters not at all. If anything that is part of Body life. And once you’re His that overrides everything else provided you’re dealing with someone who is in the truth of their story. And that’s really, if you are truly born again then you have come to the precipice. You have met you as God sees you, and you have seen that you don’t just need a Savior, but you need someone to come in and fix the mess, and that’s the Lord. That is, to me that is you lining up with Him on that most integral point. Everything has to start there. And I have been wonderfully and hilariously overjoyed and astonished at how easy it is to be with you and to be with all of you, because my story is very different from Carole, from Lori, from Jim, from John. And it doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day in the truth, being honest about who I am, who I am humanly and all the rest of it; He takes care of everything else. He absolutely does. I don’t feel at all like I’m less than when I’m in Him. It doesn’t mean I don’t have moments when I go uhhhhhh! I’m not talking about that. But when I’m in my right mind, which is to say His mind, there is no problem, and it is so easy, because He solved it, and He took it, and we are all sitting at this same table, even if we took different paths to get to that table. You know what I mean? It’s just… But in light of the self-hatred thing, what’s so fascinating to me is what you’ve just said. If we’re all attacked on that line because we are called to love ourselves, which I never thought I.. I thought of it as designed to, but it’s also a calling. We are called, commanded to love ourselves so of course the line of attack would come there. And I don’t think about that, but I think one of the lines of attack that comes especially with self-hatred is on that point of being self-conscious, because when I’m in the Body and I’m in the Spirit, I’m not on me. And so none of that matters. It’s not an issue. And so the second I get self-conscious, then I start looking at the thing. And then I look around and I say, “Well, you better shut up. You don’t know anything or you haven’t there, or, you know, you can’t possibly speak to these people. They’ve achieved a level of holiness that you can only dream of.” These are the things that, these are the attacks that come when I get on myself. And their effect is not just self-hatred, it’s separation from you and the Body. It keeps me from the very people..
(Jennifer) Who are going to love me with God’s love. And it’s just… It’s so strange, because the second you get in the Spirit, it literally is in a different realm. Those things do not matter. They do not exist. In the realm of the Spirit you are all family. You are all friends. And I don’t think about any of that, because it’s not important.
(M) It’s irrelevant.
(Jennifer) Yeah, He’s what matters.