Developing Self-Compassion & Learning to Be Nicer to Ourselves

“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” ~Lama Yeshe

Several months ago, I sat in a large workshop audience being led by Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research.

She directed us to divide up into pairs for a self-compassion exercise. I turned to the young woman next to me. We introduced ourselves and returned our attention to Kristin.

Following her instructions, my partner closed her eyes while I sat looking at her. Kristin led those of us with open eyes through a loving-kindness meditation that was directed at our partners.

INTRODUCTION: Apparently, people have always needed to know what God wants from them. It’s true that He has revealed what He wants … and expects. But people have attempted life on their own terms, and what God wants of them gets “lost” in the darkness of human wisdom and striving. Then comes another reminder (sometimes in a deafening or dreadful way) of what God wants of us. My purpose this morning is simple: I want to think about this matter of what God wants from us.



A. People forget God!

The ego is that part in us which feeds off praise, compliments and success. When we live in the ego we are inevitably subject to feelings of superiority / inferiority, pride and worthlessness, success and failure. If we want to avoid these negative emotions we need to transcend the ego. If we can transcend the ego, we will find that people are instinctively more attracted to us, even though we are no longer trying to impress. It may seem a great paradox, yet, limiting the role of our ego can make a radical difference to our lives.

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

One of the greatest benefits afforded to every Christian is the privilege of answered prayers. In the Bible, Jesus made this tremendous promise, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matt 21:22). However, despite the Lord’s willingness to answer prayer, it is obvious that some prayers have gone unanswered. Why is this? The following are the most common reasons why some prayers do not get results:

1. Lack of Fellowship with God and His word

John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

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