TEXT: Luke 10:25-37, Proverbs 25:21-22, Mark 12:28-34, Mark 22:40
When Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself, he never said we should not love ourselves; but a lot of focus has been on loving our neighbours. Today our focus is on self-care and learning to love ourselves.
You can only love your neighbour with the degree of love you have for yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have. Self-care and selfishness are two different things. Jesus also attended to His needs and encouraged people to do the same (Read Matthew 14:23, Mark 15:41, Matthew 21:18). People who commit suicide, have reached a point where they feel they cannot love themselves. So, self-hate is possible.
So how do you love yourself?
You can do this by doing the following:
- Get relevant knowledge and invest in yourself. One of the ways to show love to yourself is by getting relevant data and information. Be wealthy on information. Parents invest in their children, so the children will be assets and learn to love themselves by positively contributing to the society. Organisations do the same to their employees; so invest in yourself regularly.
There are three examples of men that became love and showed it to the world, they are: Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
Gandhi said, “Where there is love, there is life”, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”, “In a quiet way, you can shake your world”, “Freedom is not worth having if it doesn’t include the freedom to make mistakes”.
While Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear”, “Love is the only force capable of transforming enemy into a friend”, “Darkness cannot drive darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive hate, only love can do that”, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it’s a constant attitude”.
Nelson Mandela also said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children”.
- Pay attention to your experiences (Read 1 Samuel 17:33-37 for Samson’s story and Genesis 40:8-15 for Joseph’s story). When we communicate our experience to others in times of trials it shows love. There’s also wealth in solutions from our experiences.
- Confront your Challenges (See Judges 14:5-9 and 1 Samuel 17:26-30). The best way to show love for yourself is to confront your issues. In doing this you bring joy to others.
- Be careful who/what you allow in your heart (See Proverbs 4:23 and 2 Samuel 11:1-5). What you don’t want you don’t watch.
- Forgive yourself and others quickly. If you don’t forgive yourself or others quickly you cannot continue to experience love (Matthew 6:14-15).
Self-love also entails availing yourself of the opportunity offered in the salvation of Christ Jesus for you. You must accept Him first before you can even offer His love to others. No matter your perspective of life and the issues around you, Jesus is the answer and the only way. He is the ONLY TRUE LOVE.