Love others as you love yourself" (Matthew 22:39)
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Luke 6:32, 35-36 NIV
Many well-meaning people have taken the words of Jesus and confused them to mean that we must love ourselves first before we can love others. Oops! In reality, Jesus makes a basic assumption that we already have a self-centered tendency to take care of ourselves and His command for us to love others the same way- to take care of them and look out for them with the same kind of interest and attentiveness.
Many of us struggle with a poor self-concept. If you think about it, we're all pretty sinful at times, aren't we? It's understandable to be frustrated with ourselves, especially when we see our own flaws and weaknesses.
God does not want us to be down on ourselves. After all, He's not down on us! God values us so highly that He sent His only Son to pay for our sins on the cross. We are so significant to our heavenly Father that He has invited us to spend eternity with Him. It's vitally important that you recognize your eternal worth and value. If you don't recognize your value in Christ, will tend to look to others for your value, and that will only lead to fear, disappointment, and unmet needs. You and I are beloved works in progress. We must learn to look to God first, love not only those who are easy to love, but also those who are unlovely or difficult.
Being constantly down on yourself is a sign that you are thinking and focusing your mind on yourself. If you are dwelling on you, you will most likely be disappointed with what you see.
Take a moment today to look to Jesus and recognize His grace and love for you as you seek Him first to be your first love so that you will know real love in your life.
If any of this resonates with you, there's no judgment or condemnation, just a helpful and loving word reaching out in love. I pray that this encourages you to love more freely as you look to God for His strength and grace as you give others and yourselves more grace and love. Happy Valentine's Day 💗.
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