Loving Yourself – May 11, 2016
[Jesus said,] “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Mark 12:31a)
What is often called the Great Commandment is really three commands to love: love God, love your neighbour and love yourself.
Living as we do in the Age of Narcissism, one would think that the third command – love yourself – would be easy for us. But like so many other good gifts from God, we have a distorted understanding of what loving ourselves means. It is not a “Here I am, look at me!” kind of love. The self-love that the Bible calls for is to love oneself in the same way that God does. And loving ourselves like God loves us requires us to believe that God actually does love us.
Our love for God, our neighbours and ourselves is all rooted in God’s love for us. God knows that we are broken, helpless sinners and yet he loves us anyway. Jesus has dealt with our sin on the cross and now there is nothing that will ever separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (see Rom. 8:38-39).
Can you love and accept yourself even though you are a broken, helpless sinner like me?
When you can see yourself in the way that Jesus sees you – as a beloved, forgiven child of God – then you will truly be able to love yourself, and spontaneous love for God and your neighbour will gush from your heart as a result. Then you will truly be able to love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbour as yourself. It is not a command. It is a gift.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help me to love myself the way that you love me. Amen.