Riding in a bus on my way home, I hear Whitney Houston singing “The Greatest Love of All.” Seems like a good timing to hear it. As it says that “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all,” it made me ponder on the Truth within that statement.
What do you feel when somebody says that he or she loves his self or her self? How about when somebody tells you that you must learn to love yourself.
Does it make you feel unusually awkward? If yes, have you thought why and how that statement gives you such feeling?
It seems like loving one’s self has been stereotyped as being selfish that results to being cruel to others. Like if I am to say that I love myself, I may sound like an arrogant prideful woman who only cares about herself.
But then, why was it written that we are to “love your neighbors as you love yourself” if loving ourselves is not good?
What really goes with loving myself, yourself? What is the Truth in it?
Let us look at how Love is defined. It is written that
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (2 Corinthians 13 NIV)
Now let me ask you the following questions:
- Have you been patient with yourself?
- Are you kind to yourself?
- Do you let other people’s boastings and pride affect you negatively?
- Do you honor yourself? Or have you thought of how to honor yourself?
- Do you think of others’ welfare knowing that the good things that happen to them will also affect you positively? Instead of just going for what is good for you that harm others at the same time?
- Can you say that you do not get easily angered with yourself?
- Do you cross out your transgressions after you have confessed and asked the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness?
- Do you rejoice in the Truths revealed in your life and not allow evil to reign in your life?
- Do you even think of protecting yourself?
- Do you trust yourself?
- Do you hope for good things to come to you?
- Does perseverance and the courage to move forward after a mistake sound good to you?
- Do you not fail to give yourself another chance when you did something wrong?
It may appear to be very selfish to answer “yes” to all these questions but what does the Bible say about it? How do you think you can
“love others” in the right way if you do not “love yourself” the proper way?
Do you remember that God is Love? That in the real sense of loving, God is there and it is Holy. When we love ourselves, we feast on God Himself who lives in us, through us, for us. Experiencing God, having a relationship with our Creator, and learning to communicate with Him is the root of loving ourselves. For it is in this connection that we learn about our purpose, our value. This gives life its essence.
Can you have a little break from the busy-ness of life and ponder about your significance?
How you have been treating others may be the way you have also been treating yourself. Perhaps it is not about being a “bad person” as people tell you that you are. However, it is just realizing that you are a creation of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. That God has plans for you, to prosper you and not to harm you. That you are loved. That you have a Father, who is the Creator of the universe.
That your life is significant no matter what situation you are currently in.
Have you thought of God becoming flesh (human)? Who came to earth the way humans do. Who suffered – was persecuted, bruised,
Isn’t this one splendid reason for you to love yourself (as written in the Word)? So that you will also know how to Love others. wounded, humiliated, and blasphemed. Who died. Who did this all for you. So that in His resurrection you can live with Him. And He has resurrected! All you need to do is to accept all of these that He (God Himself) has done for you and be forgiven of your sins (and wrong decisions, mistakes). Then live in a relationship with Him.
Isn’t it time to learn to Love yourself? To accept that you are a creation who is fearfully and wonderfully made. That you have limitations and that you can only do your best as God does the rest.
Isn’t it time not to be so hard on yourself? Stop beating yourself up for your past mistakes. Start looking at what you have learned from it and move forward in life. Release the bitterness that you have been carrying deep in your heart through forgiveness. These are heavy stuff that makes it difficult for you to take one step forward. Allow God to touch the wounds of your soul and heal them. Experience God’s love where you have
Isn’t it time to forgive yourself? To let go of the guilt and shame. To allow God to take them away and make all things work together for you as you love Him. To see that what the enemy has intended you for evil, God will make it the other way around – for your good.
Know that as you love yourself, you love God and one of His most wonderful creations – that is YOU!