Which commandment do you think is the hardest to keep? Love God? Love your neighbour?
How about love yourself?
Yes it’s there, slipped in by Jesus at the end of the second greatest commandment.
“Love your neighbour as yourself.”
We all get the “love your neighbour” bit but what about loving yourself? The problem is that most of us don’t really know ourselves. We think we do but we don’t really see ourselves as others see us but an idealised version of what we would like to be, not what we are. If you get past this and begin to find the real you (it took me a breakdown and a lot of counselling to do this) there is a very good chance that you won’t like yourself because your faults start to dominate your thinking.
It is at this point that God tells you to love yourself. Not because you deserve it but for the simple reason that God loves you – warts and all.
This is not an excuse to stay as you are but rather it is a signpost to keep you moving in the right direction. God loves you as you are and as you should be; perfect in His image. Just as we wouldn’t leave someone we love to struggle with something they can’t manage so God doesn’t leave us to just get on with it but comes to us in the person of the Holy Spirit to guide and encourage us in our journey. This may be directly to you or through the Body of Christ here on earth – the Church.
So don’t forget God commands you to love yourself, not in a selfish way but so you may reflect His glory.