Tuesday, October 10, 2023
GALATIANS 5:14 NIV 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Most people understand it's right to love our neighbor -- but many do not realize it's also God's will for us to love ourselves.
We need to understand this correctly. We should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3). But we must remember God placed a high value on us when He gave Jesus to redeem us.
So we should not hate ourselves, or see ourselves as hopeless failures. We should not put ourselves down or speak critically of ourselves.
Without the Lord, we can be wretched creatures. But when we come to Jesus, He changes us and puts us in the family of God. Ephesians 2:10 says we are God's workmanship (literally God's work of art). For us to be critical of God's work of art is not respectful of God.
When we realize we are valuable and precious -- not because of what we do, but because God made us, then we can love our neighbor as we should -- not because of what they do, but because God also loves them.
First Corinthians 13 tells us what love acts like. It is patient, kind, and accepting.
How should we love our self? We should be kind and respectful, just as we should be with others. We should forgive and forget the past rather than beating ourselves over the head with our failures and mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Why let them be an anchor holding us back from making progress?
We understand we are to forgive others, but many refuse to forgive themselves.
Don't refuse to forgive yourself for the failures and sins of the past. God forgives you. Should your standards be higher than His? Since God forgives you, you should forgive yourself.
The command to love our self is not meant to make us selfish, but to take care of God's creation. We are not to love ourselves more than we love our neighbor.
God loves our neighbor just as much as He does us. That does not mean we have the exact same responsibility toward our neighbor as we do concerning our own life, but we should care about them, in the same way as we do ourselves.
Loving yourself means taking care of yourself. And it means accepting yourself as you are -- because God made you. (No, God didn't make you to be in the shape you are in now, but He made YOU. And as long as you keep condemning yourself you will stay in bad shape.)
God loves you right now. Because you are good enough for God to love, then you are good enough for you to love. Your standards should not be higher than God's.
SAY THIS: God loves me, so I should love myself.
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