We’ve all heard it said that we need to truly love ourselves before we can love someone else.
But that’s not Biblical.
What is Biblical is that loving yourself is a by-product of what God asks us to do.
In Matthew we find the two greatest commandments:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
This is pretty specific. Love God with all that you are. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Some might attempt to justify that you have to love yourself first to love your neighbor as yourself. But that is not what Jesus said. He said Love your neighbor as yourself.
Look at it this way. If we put more time in to loving God as much as we possibly can and loving others; what do you think will happen? Surely we won’t hate ourselves because we’re so busy loving God and others! That is against the nature of how God created love. The more you love, the more you can love. That love doesn’t extend to God and to others without spiritually, mentally, and physically doing something within you as well!
At the end of Job, God speaks. He tells Job what he must do and then restores everything back to Job twice as much as he had before:
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10 (NIV)
The book of Job is possibly as old or nearly as old as the book of Genesis. So we see the nature of God and how He operates consistent throughout history and the Bible. Love God and love others and reap the by-product … loving yourself.
I challenge you to try loving God with all that you are (with all your soul and with all your mind) and loving others. See what God can do in you! He is faithful.
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