LOVE . . . Thyself

Moment of truth for me – it has always been easier to love others than myself. Some of us may give to the homeless, support pregnancy centers, fight for the equality of the marginalized, and take care of our families, but deep down we do not see the same value in ourselves. It may be because we are so focused on our flaws, or it may be because we experience the judgement of others. Regardless of the reason, some of us just can’t seem to find the same amount of love and regard for ourselves as we do for others.

And if I give away all my possessions to charity, and if I surrender my body so that I may glory, but do not have love, it does me no good. 1 Corinthians 13:3

Dear reader, hear me now. If we don’t find a solution for self-hatred, all our life’s purposes are useless. Whether or not we have purpose or hope, our lives WILL end. People, professions, possessions, and prominence can all fail us. But we don’t have to live in the darkness of disappointments. We can seize the truth that our value is eternally fixed and priceless to the Almighty, and we can LIVE LOVED in the Light of His truth! 

Here are three Cs to help us remember our predetermined and unchanging worth:

THE CREATION

First, Scripture makes it clear that every human is made in love by their perfect Creator as an image-bearer of Himself and a uniquely distinct expression of His desire to know them intimately (Genesis 1:26-27). Psalm 139 is a poetic description of just how precious we are as His creation. Not only that, but it confirms that He truly knows all our wonders and warts – and He STILL considers us worth His time and love.

Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up;
You understand my thought from far away. 

THE COMMANDMENT

Second, Jesus drew specific attention to the love of humans in a summation of the entirety of written Scripture in Matthew 22.

‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.’  Matthew 22:36-40

Jesus was quoting from the Old Testament passage found in Leviticus 19:17 where there were a myriad of laws concentrated on how to deal with people – especially when someone disliked or disagreed with another person.

There was a requirement to treat others with the respect and love that one KNEW the Almighty had for said individual. Treatment of any individual, even correction, must happen with compassion in spite of any flaws. So, in order to love others, one MUST know how to love one’s own self in spite of any flaws.

THE COST

Finally, there is a fool-proof way of knowing what something/someone is truly worth. It’s based on how much it/they cost.  2 Corinthians 5:21 talks about this price – the same one Jesus paid for every human. In the same chapter, Paul also addresses our earthly “tent” (body or mind) being one with which we are not always satisfied and that our desire is truly to leave it and be with Him. Finally, it also confirms that it is the love of Messiah Jesus that saves us because He has done the dying for our wretchedness and has given us life. 

 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.  John 10:10-11

About the Writer:

Rachel, husband Alessandro, and their four homeschooled children have been members of First Baptist Dallas for a decade. She is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and has been an educator for 20 years. Rachel serves in Choir and Student Worship.  After surviving depression and attempted suicide, she intentionally lives for the One Who died to give her life!

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