What Does Loving Myself Have to do with Loving God and Others?
There is an awesome scripture where Jesus Christ teaches us something very profound about love in Matthew 22: 37-39. It reads, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
For many years I simply translated this verse in my head as “Love God, Love Others.”
But a couple of years ago I had an epiphany when I seemed to notice a part of this verse that I had never seemed to notice before. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
As thyself? What the heck…When did that get put in the scriptures?
Like most women, I used to think I was the lowest on the totem pole. I used to put everyone’s needs above my own.
I literally probably took better care of the dog than I did myself. He at least got taken to the vet once per year. He got fed and taken on walks regularly. What about me?
Did I love myself? Good question.
If I did love myself, shouldn’t I prioritize myself and my needs so that I could then better serve others? I guess that made sense.
But I always felt guilty doing it. Why? Who knows!
I guess the adversary is pretty cunning and knows that if we start prioritizing our health, confidence and well being we become more confident and capable in serving others as well–and then the world would be overrun with goodness.
Well, Satan can’t have that happen–so he pounds us with doubts: “Your needs aren’t important. You aren’t worth anything.” And we believe him.
We scroll through social media images and see that our home isn’t as nice or we aren’t as talented or we aren’t pretty enough.
And we think we are worthless.
Figuring Out the Love Equasion
Well, I started pondering this “love thy neighbor as thyself” statement. I had heard many, many times throughout my life, but I guess I had never put two and two together.
- I had to learn to love God and as I did, I would love myself.
- Once I loved myself, it would then help me truly love my neighbor more.
Why would loving God help me learn to love myself?
I am a Child of God and So are You!
The more I read about God in the scriptures, the more I began to learn and believe that I truly was a child of God. I had value. I had worth.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16
Wow! Really and truly–we are children of the most powerful being in the universe–kind of like princes and princesses. If we are royalty, indeed children of God, what does that mean?
Shouldn’t we treat ourselves a little better? Shouldn’t we treat others better as well?
The more I have considered this, the more I believe it is a process which takes place gradually over time. Whatever our capacity for love towards ourselves and towards God can also be shown to our neighbor. As we learn to love God and ourselves more, our capacity to love our neighbor also increases.
The more I love God and myself, the greater my capacity to love others.
There it is.
So my friends, this week of Valentines day I invite each of you to do a self-evaluation:
- Do you love yourself?
- Do you show it?
- If you don’t, what can you do to prioritize God more in your life?
- What affirmations can you say each day to help you truly believe this?
- What positive thoughts will you choose to replace the negative self-talk that Satan wants us to think?
Write these answers down. Decide how you see yourself through God’s eyes. Write down and memorize your positive affirmations. Say them every day!
Who I truly Am
My experience was that once I prioritized God first, He helped me understand myself and my capacity and my abilities as His daughter.
- I can create awesome things because I am the daughter of The Creator.
- I can love more purely because I am a daughter of God who is Love.
- I can can shine the light of God brightly because I am His daughter.
- I can be smart and wise because I am the daughter of an Omniscient (all knowing) God.
- I can powerfully channel the energy of God in my life because He is Omnipotent (all powerful).
- I am a princess, an heir, because my Father is the King of Kings.
This doesn’t make me better than anyone else, because–guess what?
We are all children of God.
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:17
You are an heir. I am an heir.
So, your royal highness, let’s start acting like it.
Let’s take care of ourselves so that we can shine God’s light throughout the earth and share his love with everyone!
Smile and know you are loved by the most powerful being in the universe (who happens to be your totally awesome Father in Heaven). You are a child of God!
Happy Valentine’s Week everyone!