By Erin Bird
Next week we will be concluding this How to Love series, but before we do, I need to talk about something extremely important. In order for you to truly "love like Jesus," you HAVE to love yourself.
If you've been following Jesus for a while, this idea of "loving yourself," may sound unbiblical. After all, our culture talks a lot about "loving yourself," and so therefore some of us just assume it must be an unbiblical sentiment. Others of us think about the portions of Scripture that call us to humility, so "love yourself" sounds anti-humble, so therefore anti-Christian.
But here are two reasons why I believe "loving yourself" is not only biblical, but necessary.
#1. You need to love you because Jesus loves you.
If you don't love yourself, you are in essence saying to Jesus, "I am not worthy of love." But that is so far from the truth as to be laughable! You were worth the blood of Jesus. Because God's image is within you, God saw the highest value you could possibly have, so it was worth the cross to redeem you back to Himself.
So you need to love yourself to honor Jesus' sacrifice. It as an act of worship.
#2. You need to love you in order to love others.
When you don't love yourself, you set others up to fail you, which will lead you to fail them. You see, God created you to be loved. But by not accepting God's love, and thereby not loving yourself, you turn others into a god-like character in your life, seeking to receive love from them. But because they are not God, they can't love you perfectly. Then, in those imperfect moments, you feel hurt and let down, leading you to be nasty and selfish towards others.
But when you love yourself because of Christ's love for you, you realize you are complete in Jesus. Therefore, you aren't as needy for love from others. And out of that stable love for self found in the Gospel, you can then give to others the love God calls you to display.
As you can see, loving yourself in Christ's love is deeply needed and necessary in order to love the way we've been talking about in this How to Love series. So may you bask in God's love for you by worshiping Him in prayer & song, but may you also honor His love by loving yourself.
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