Love Your Neighbor AS Yourself
- February 27, 2020
- Taber Cheo
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” – Mark 12:31
Many people today have a popular habit to not value or love themselves the way that they should. The suicide rate alone will show you this habit as prominent. I, myself, did not consider the principle of loving myself as important for the first eight years of my Christian life. Always hearing teachings that said, “deny yourself and carry your cross,” and “it’s all about Him and not about you,” if I ever thought to love myself, I would consider it selfish and wrong; after all we’re meant to serve and not be served right? “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). The truth is you cannot truly walk in love unless you know that love yourself. If you know the depth of how much God loves you, you should be able to value and love yourself the same way He does. Therefore, the act of loving others should be the outcome of loving yourself. You cannot love yourself unless you know how much you are loved.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). This scripture is a promise and a foundation of believing in Jesus as our savior. If you are not loving yourself, you are condemning yourself and that is not the sovereign will of God for your life. In which case, a good place to start loving yourself is to not condemn yourself. Most times, we tend to withhold forgiveness for ourselves when Jesus has already forgiven us. How sad to think we do not receive the gift He’s given because of our own self pity. “In whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things” (1 John 3:20). We must let God’s truth be the word that our hearts follow.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence” (Psalms 42:5) There’s a reason why the psalmist said these words. There is a time where we MUST minister to our own soul and remind our selves of the truth; to edify ourselves; to build ourselves up. Caring for yourself is not a selfish thing to do. On the contrary, you cannot give what you do not have. If you, yourself, are not encouraged, how can you encourage others? If you do not love yourself, how can you love others? There are many thoughts that spring up in our minds. We have the power by the grace of God to believe in only hope and see our own self worth.
“The one who says He abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1John 2:6). Jesus would go to desolate places and pray. He sat down at a well because He got tired. He slept in a boat while His disciples were struggling to survive a storm. He always had time for Himself. He loved Himself and never condemned Himself. As followers of Christ, we must walk in this same way. Our communion with God should be a beautiful intimacy that is absent from shame. He truly loves you and values you. I pray we understand the depth of His love that we would acknowledge our own worth and be enabled to walk in sincere love.