Yeah, the title might sound a little bit off-base for what you’re thinking scripturally, but it’s actually a huge part of what we miss when it comes to our Christian lives. We hear all the time how we’re supposed to love God and we hear constantly about how we’re supposed to love other people, but what about that one part of ‘The Greatest Commandment’ … the “as yourself” part. Sometimes we overlook this section, thinking that we’re doing everyone (God and others included) a favor if we just leave ourselves out of the equation. Without knowing our worth, our value from God, we’ll never be able to live with ourselves. Without truly loving ourselves as God loves us, we aren’t able to fully love others the way that God sees them. How can we love someone else in a way that we are not capable of knowing or receiving? We’re going to explore what it looks like to receive and reciprocate God’s love for us, what it means to truly love ourselves in a selfless way, and how we love others better as a result of knowing how to love ourselves.
W2 — Love Yourself
As we discover God’s love for us, we can be fully aware of how to love ourselves; but because of sin, we have a twisted perspective of what “loving yourself” looks like, and that’s why we get a little weirded out by phrases like the one we’re building this series off of: Love Yourself. Scripture is pretty clear about the fact that we are to be in healthy relationship with God, self and others. One of the major passages that assumes this kind of healthy love for yourself is MATTHEW 22:39, where Matthew emphasizes the old testament command to Love your neighbor as yourself. We’re only able to love our neighbors as well as we love ourselves. Sometimes we can be so caught up in the loving our neighbor part that we love our neighbor like we would love ourselves: selfishly. We begin to love our neighbor for what we can get out of it. Or maybe we love our neighbor to distract us from the issues that we have going on in our own lives. It’s so important that we get this right, because in this whole process of loving God, loving ourselves and loving others, we tend to leave out this step of loving ourselves, thinking that we’re doing exactly as God says but failing to understand what it looks like to live in healthy standing with ourselves.