The week, I had an article in the paper about how we need to love ourselves. Since everybody doesn't get the paper I was going to repost it here. Let me know what you think!
Do you love yourself? It seems like an odd question at first because we live in a time of the selfie, social media influencers, and where our opinions are king. Looking around the culture it appears that all we do is we love ourselves and nobody else. However, looking just past the trends that we see on Face Book, Twitter and Instagram we see some really hard statistics in recent literature that blows our initial impressions away. Looking at the numbers we see that suicide rates for different age groups have gone through the roof. We also can find out that we are the most depressed and anxiety prone generation that has ever existed in the history of the United States. To add insult to injury we are more polarized and social isolated than ever before. Why? I think it is because we really don’t love ourselves.
When he was asked what were the two biggest laws we should follow. Jesus said this in Matthew 22:37-39 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your should, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Why did Jesus tack on the “as yourself”? I think it is because Jesus knows that if we don’t love ourselves, we can’t love other people.
When I talk about loving yourself, I am not talking about the image of your self. I am talking about loving your whole self, warts and all. Do you constantly put yourself down or even worse allow a spouse or partner to do that? Do you give yourself credit for doing things well? Do you ever address your needs or are you always making sure everybody else in your life is taken care of?
God made you and God doesn’t make mistakes. You are a wonderful creation. Jesus reminds us of this fact that we need to love ourselves. God wants us to take care of ourselves; God wants us to know that we matter; and God wants us to empower us to work on those areas of our lives where we struggle. So do you love yourself? If you can’t say “Yes” to this question start thinking about the ways that God is calling you to love yourself. It is only when we truly love ourselves and strive to be a better person that we can begin to fulfill the second command of Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Pastor Paul. I hope you find these reflections insightful and help you in your faith journey!