The Command To Love Yourself
Did you know that there’s an actually command in the Bible to love yourself?
At age 12, Sunday mornings felt like a chore, we would get up early in the morning to get ready for church which could sometimes be an all-day event. Over the years, I grew in my personal relationship with God, but there were parts of my relationship with God that still felt like a chore and a duty. One of the areas that I felt challenged by was always feeling as though I needed to EARN God’s love.
It was not until recently that I understood the essence of one of God’s greatest command.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36–40 NIV
The Command To Love God
This scripture is profound because it reminds us that love is the center of our relationship with God, everything else is secondary. It’s so critical that if we have everything else but do not have love we’ve wasted our time. Read 1 Corinthians 13.
The Command To Love Yourself, First
Although the command to love God is well known, the command to love yourself is not as widely known or understood to be a command. Let’s review the scripture, “and the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ This command is a two commands in one. It first assumes that in order to love your neighbor you love yourself (FIRST). This Scripture is saying in order to love others you must love yourself.
The question is:
How can you love others, if they do not love yourself?
We often skip over this questions to demonstrate love to others while neglecting the fact that we don’t possess this love that we are trying to give to others. We cannot ignore. The love you give from a place of deficit is entirely different from the love you give from a place of contentment and completion.
I propose that what we give to others from a place of deficit is not love, but rather an attempt to cover our own lack of love.
Love is free. It’s expects nothing in return. It’s open and flows freely. It fearless and unashamed. Love is powerful. Love protect. Love heals. Love forgives…..
Self Love Is A Prerequisite For Loving Others
For so many years, I did not understand this and actually believe that it was selfish and therefore, a sin if I practiced self-love. However, through studying the Bible and prayer; I now recognize this a command and expectation from God. You cannot go beyond your own belief; your own self-limiting beliefs constraints to giving and receiving love.
Spend time practicing self-love and self-compassion; it’s a divine discipline and impacts how you love others.
You are a created in God’s image. Therefore, if you do not love yourself; it’s difficult to accept that your are a divine creation. God demonstrates what love is, by loving us first. Spend time embracing this perfect love that is freely given, even at your worst.
I am very passionate about investing in the area of self-love personally and professionally. A year ago, I created a faith-based self-love course specially designed to help Christian women who find it difficult to practice self-love. Contact me at email@example.com, if you would like to learn more.