In church circles, love of self is not talked about a lot. In fact, if the love of self is brought up, it is normally in the context of pride and needing to remove that love to be able to love God and those we come in contact with on a daily basis. I can remember being taught to love God from a very young age and that one of the greatest obstacles to true Godly love was the dirty, rotten, disgusting and putrid flesh.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
We are to essentially love God on a personal level (YOUR God) with every part of our being; heart and the things we feel, soul and who we are eternally and our mind and the things we think about. This is known as the first and greatest commandment because, essentially, everything we do and who we are flow out of our heart, mind and soul.
Then we have verse 39 that is a directive like the previous greatest commandment; to love your neighbor as yourself. It doesn’t say, “Love your neighbor and hate yourself because your rotten fleshly nature is disgusting and vile in the sight of God.” It actually uses the words, “...as yourself.” To me, this says that the level of love I give out to others is directly proportional to the love I have for myself. And even more importantly, that the love of God with all my heart, soul and mind is the key for healthy self-love that will lead to my care of others. What a cool concept. God wants us to love him in all ways, so that WE can feel his love not only for others but for ourselves as well. So when we don’t spend time getting to know God and his love for US we don’t have a concern for the world because in essence, we don’t care about ourselves or we have an overestimated love of self that has no room for others. In either case, we break that flow of the love of God from him, through us to the world.
I can honestly say that when I have read verses about loving others and God, I have sometimes wondered where I fit into the stream of that love. The verses in Matthew 22 are proof that we are actually a part of that love flow from God to the people we need to reach.
Remember today that God doesn’t want to leave you behind in the process of his love for the world and even the term “the world” includes followers of Christ as well. When we consider that our finite minds cannot fully comprehend God’s plan for man, we will learn to just trust the process God has set out for us. We will dig into his Word and spend time with him and develop that love of God and self which will give us the tools to love a lost and dying world around us.
At Rocky Mountain CTN our mission is focused on empowering viewers to discover a fulfilled life by providing relevant media that connects people to God and community to change our culture. This blog is made up of thoughts to start that change.
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