“Be Kind To Yourself” – A Musical Devotional

“Be Kind To Yourself”

by Andrew Peterson

There is a strong tendency among followers of Jesus to be at war within our own hearts. We may claim that it’s the devil throwing lies at us, but I really believe that, for me, the voice in my head leveling accusations and indictments and slander is my own.

I have been sitting with this song again lately and was moved to write about it, but I want to encourage you to take a moment and watch the video. But first, let me tell you a little about it.

It was written by one of my favorite artists, Andrew Peterson. He has explained that some things going on with his young daughter stirred the song, but that God really spoke to him through it as well. It speaks of the war within us that so often overwhelms us.

These words from a father to his daughter or son echo:

I love you just the way that you are
I love the way He made your precious heart
Be kind to yourself
Be kind to yourself

Are you starting to get it?

But the bridge really is the part that I hear in my head over and over and over and over:

How does it end
When the war that you're in
Is just you against you against you?
You've gotta learn to love, learn to love
Learn to love your enemies too

Most days I fight myself so much more than anything or anyone else. The war inside me so often is truly me against me.

So take a moment and watch this video. And as you do, know that this is the songwriter with his daughter and his son. See how much he loves her. And in it hear your Father speak to you.

“Be Kind To Yourself” – Andrew Peterson

Now… I want to remind you of a couple of important things.

The Old Testament is built on it and Jesus re-articulated to bring even more clarity. The overarching commandment of all commandments is to love. Remember how He put it when He was asked what the greatest or most important commandment was?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22.37-40

The command was to love God with all that you are and to love others as yourself. Even your enemies. But I know that we often have so much guilt over our failures, our shortcomings, the ways we don’t think we measure up.

I heard the songwriter share something that someone said that hit me hard: “You know, self-loathing is just another form of self-worship.” When you think about it, it really is at the very least a form of self-absorption. It is to hold hatred in your heart toward someone for whom Jesus died, someone created in the very image of God, someone He loves more deeply than we can truly imagine.

So maybe it’s time we recognize the ways we are our own enemy and just believe that we are loved relentlessly and sacrificially.

Father, teach me to love my enemies… even when it’s me.

If you enjoy these musical devotional posts, let me know in the comments and feel free to suggest a song that speaks to you in a significant way.

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