“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31; Matthew 22:39). This is a command that represents the essence of our love walk. Have you ever spent time thinking about the meaning of that verse? Have you ever thought of the fact that we have to love ourselves first before we can love others? If we don’t love ourselves enough, it will be hard to show love for others. Research shows that children who have healthy self-esteem and who love themselves have grown up knowing they were loved. The first step to loving ourselves is to be aware that God our father loves us unconditionally. According to the Lord, we are worth it. We are lovable and the Bible says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). This is true every day. It doesn’t just apply when we are dressed up or we look good. It doesn’t matter if you are a beauty queen or if you feel like your looks are not that great. You see, we focus too much on the world standards of beauty, intelligence and success when in reality we are all winners with the Lord. He sees an amazing beauty in us that the world doesn’t always recognize. God doesn’t favor good looks and good brains. He favors His children period. I’m inviting you this week to keep taking steps toward “love your neighbor like yourself.” Get in the Word and learn what the Lord has to say about you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a greater revelation of His love. Eternal life and blessings from heaven belong to you now. The Bible doesn’t say “God gave His only begotten son so that whosoever believes in Him and has a makeover first, shall have eternal life.
Come as you are. You are just perfect the way you are. No need to try to make yourself likable to the Lord. He loves you more than you will ever know!You can think of “Love 101” as a course in learning to love yourself in order to love others. This week is a good week to start treating yourself as if you were loved because you are. This is a great week to embrace who you are and walk in the fullness of God’s goodness. Someone needs your love. There is someone out there, neighbor or not, who needs you to show them that you care. Someone is longing to know that they matter and that they are worth it. By first loving yourself you can change someone’s life. It sounds contradictory but it is a powerful truth. One of my school’s beliefs is “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” With Mark 12:31 in mind, we can say “Treat others the way you treat yourself.” If you deserve to be loved, everyone else deserves the same treatment. In God’s eyes no one is better than anyone else. Rich people are not better than everyone else. Smart people are not better than everyone else. Celebrities are not better than everyone else in God’s eyes. Let’s keep taking “Love 101” as a refresher course. Let it sink in until we express true love for others. Enjoy your neighbor this week as much as you enjoy yourself.
Suggested reading: Romans 13:8-9; Galatians 5:14; 1 John 4:21