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.
W1 — Love God
Don't get this twisted, there is one originator of all things, even (and especially) love. And we have to start with him before we move into anything else. It is only through God that we can even know what love is. He states so in 1 JOHN 3:16, This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. It is through Jesus that we have access to know love, and not just love as a concept, but love specifically for us. JOHN 3:16 throws out the idea that God so loved the world... John uses the phrase “the world,” which actually indicates each individual in it, not simply the earth itself — God is in it for the people. The whole book of Song of Songs highlights how God feels about each one of us, his romantic pursuit of us. We are compared to his bride — that’s a big deal. God has a big love for us. Jesus goes on to tell us in JOHN 15:9, As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. God has this really big love for us, but if we’re going to know his love, we have to abide in his love. The most loving response we can have to our God is to abide in his love — to love him by sitting in his presence, receiving our worth from him.