Thoughts About Ourselves
by Dan Fick
We must learn to love ourselves as we love our neighbors. Romans 13:8-10 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”You are probably saying, “Wait, you have got that backward.” And you would be correct. The Bible from Leviticus to James says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But what if we are not really very satisfied with ourselves? Maybe we are in that state of mind we sometimes hear, “I hate myself for _______.” How can we love our neighbor properly, if we have lost our love for ourselves?
Leviticus 19:18 (NLT) – “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”It is very important that we love ourselves. Not the adoring, pride-filled love, but the take care of ourselves love that we are to show for our neighbors. We also should enjoy our own company in order for others to enjoy being around us. The wonderful comedian/actress Lucille Ball said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”Proverbs 19:8 (NLT) – “To acquire wisdom is to love yourself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.”People get tired of being around a gripe and a grump. They want to be with someone that has a positive attitude and a “look on the bright side” attitude. We may also find that if we have a hard time loving or even liking ourselves, others may have the same hard time liking and loving us. Luke 10:27 (NLT) – “The man answered, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”So how do we go about loving ourselves without being narcissistic? I believe it starts with our faith and loving God. When we have faith and know that the God who created the universe, created us and loves each of us, we should be able to love our lives and love ourselves in turn. And, when we love our neighbors, most of them will love us in return. Pretty soon you will be caught up in a never-ending cycle of love giving and you will love that your life is part of the cycle. Gracious God, our Heavenly Father, help us to live the life with which You have blessed us. Teach us to love others as You love us. May we be a reflection of love to all that see and know us. We pray this in Your Son’s precious name, Jesus! Amen.