“And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as you love yourself”, Mathews 22:39. In an English class, if asked to rewrite this sentence, I would say, Love yourself before you love your neighbor.
This was the response of Jesus when the Pharisees asked him which one was the greatest commandment in the law. The first greatest commandment was love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.
Now when you look at these two commandments, they pretty much sum up the ten commandments.
Okay so my write-up is not really about commandments. I’m so much interested in commandment number two though. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.
Now there’s a latent command in that particular command. There is a prerequisite, it is more of a conditional command. How can you love your neighbor as much as you love yourself when you don’t love yourself at all?
So the latent command is love yourself. God requires that of you. It is not optional.
Which pretty much explains why individuals that do not love themselves find it hard to live with other people. They find it hard to love, to give and to co-exist because they missed or overlooked the prerequisite condition.
Its similar to the law that says do unto others as you want done to you (Mathew 7:12). If Jesus did not care about what you do to yourself, he would not have given this rule. He expects you to treat yourself with love, kindness, compassion, empathy and forgiveness.
Do you love yourself? Do you appreciate who you are? Do you value your attributes? Do you cherish your unique qualities?
If your major challenge is fitting in, connecting with people or maintaining relationships, you might want to go back to the drawing board where you are required to write self love. Now, I’m not saying once you start loving and appreciating yourself people will flock to you like bees to honey. Once you love and appreciate yourself, you will be able to see yourself through God’s eyes. Because God loves you. He see’s beyond your petty short comings, your physical appearance, your mistakes and failures. He sees what and who you can be.
When you achieve self love, you will see yourself from a whole new perspective, your eyes will open to your potential and what you can achieve. You will also see that you owe loyalty to God not people. You will also not allow people to walk all over you or to treat you like trash just so you can feel wanted and loved.
I speak from personal experience. I discovered my purpose in life when I finally achieved self-love a few years ago. Before that, I was a sad lost soul wondering what my purpose I life was.
- Appreciate yourself
- Be kind to yourself
- Practice Self compassion and empathy
- Be loyal to yourself
- Be patient with yourself
- Practice self forgiveness
- Give yourself a second, third, fourth or fifth chance
- Protect yourself; from addiction, from abuse, from disease, from danger, from pain, etc.
- Care for yourself.
These are the things you are supposed to do for others. But you may never know how to do them the right way if you don’t practice them with yourself first.
May The Lord almighty guide you in your quest for self-love. May he reveal to your your purpose in life, in Jesus’ name.
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