Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Yourself

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

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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