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Summary: Hidden in the middle of the Golden Rule is a commandment which needs to be obeyed.

THE HIDDEN COMMANDMENT - Telling yourself the truth.

I want to talk to you this morning about the hidden commandment.

Mk 12:28-31. Did you hear it? Love your neighbour as you love yourself ... we need to love ourselves! But do we?

Woody Allen: “my one regret is that I am not someone else” If we are honest with ourselves I’m sure, that even if we haven’t said that, we have at least thought it. Why is it that so many people dislike themselves?

If we had to do a survey here this morning, I’m sure we’d get many different answers ... but they’d all come down to the same thing: The reason we don’t like ourselves is because of the lies we keep telling ourselves. If this is true, it is obvious then that the answer is to tell ourselves the truth, but before we can do that we need to identify what the lies are.

So let’s look at some Biblical characters - great men of God - who never loved themselves and see if we can identify with some of the lies they told themselves.

1. Lie # 1 “I AM USELESS”

a) Exod 4:10 (niv) Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

b) Moses saw only the negative -

Some people are very good at this - bucket ministry

DIRTY WINDOW SYNDROME. If you look through a dirty window, everything looks dirty.

If I feel bad about myself, how do you think I’ll act?

c) So often we lump unnecessary guilt on ourselves - “I’m such a useless Christian”

d) What does God say to this lie?

i) There is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus

ii) You are not useless because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you


a) Ex 2:11-17 Two interesting incidents in the life of Moses. Why did Moses risk his life in both these situations? I don’t know

b) BUT I do know that people with a poor self esteem will do crazy things just to get people to like them. It is very noble to risk your life for someone else, but when the motive is to please man instead of God, it becomes destructive ... we start telling ourselves the 2nd lie...

c) which leads to more lies

i) It is more Christian to please others than myself

d) I think I’ve lived most of my life trying to please others - and you know what I found “you can’t please everyone” - end up becoming a schizophrenic

e) What is God’s response to this?

To fear God is the beginning of wisdom.

3. Lie # 3 “I AM UNIMPORTANT” Jud 6:12-15

a) vs 15 who is mentioned the most?

b) Ironic but true that people who have a low self esteem are actually very self centred. - they are always thinking about themselves and their problems

c) this self centredness is a sure fire formula for depression:

i) person devalues self ... least important member

ii) devalue situation ... God isn’t with us

iii) devalue prospects for the future ...

• He divorced me because I’m not a good wife

• I’m over the hill and not very beautiful anymore, what chance do I have of getting married again.

• I’m not going to get any younger I may as well drown my sorrows.

d) Does God think we are unimportant?

i) If you see a big colour TV being sold for R50 what’s your first thought? What’s the catch? It must be broken? ... It can’t be worth it. THE PRICE DETERMINES THE WORTH. God thinks we are so valuable that he paid for us with the life of his only son!

4. Lie # 4 “I can’t make a decision”

a) Go and destroy those pagans, “Um ... how can I be sure ... ?”

b) If you don’t love yourself, you’ll never be confident to make a decision

c) JOKE A young lady was being interviewed for a job. She was asked if she struggled to make decisions ... “Well Yes, and No”

d) People like this are prone to become moral pushovers CHIEF WHOSEMORALSARELASTIX.

Teenager phoned me yesterday: “on camp things were fine but when I got back home I started hanging out with these guys who smoke, and now I’ve started smoking dagga with them. Is it wrong?”

e) We may not believe in ourselves but God believes in us. He says:

i) Be bold, be strong, for the Lord your God is with you.

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