Updated: Feb 1
I've been thinking a lot about our call to love others around us, In John 15 we are told, "This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you". This is by no means a new concept, for centuries we have been told to love others just as Christ has loved us. Along with this concept of loving others, I want to remind you that it is equally important to love yourself.
This is a concept I have mentioned a lot over the last few months. I want to pose a question - can we fully love others around us if we don't love ourselves? I've thought a lot about this over the last few months and I've come to the conclusion that If we do not love ourselves then I honestly don't think that we can love others the way we are called to. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 13, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law".
The concept is to love others and encourage them in who they were created to be. Love them the way Christ has instructed us to love one another. Also in John 13, we are instructed, " A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another". Over and over throughout scripture we are told to love others just as Christ has loved us.
During a recent conversation, I found myself asking the same question I asked you. How can we fully love others the way we have been commanded to if we don't love ourselves? In response they asked what I meant by this question. I'm willing to bet some of you are thinking the same thing, so I'll explain. The kind of love I'm talking about is what is described in scripture when we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves. The same kind of love that Christ has shown to us. It's a kind of love that looks at the person, all their faults and their passions, sees the mistakes of the past and still loves them unconditionally. I think that the only way we can love others around us this way is to love ourselves first.
Learning to love ourselves and see ourselves the way Christ sees us, is challenging at times, but let me just tell you it is so worth it. It can be hard to see past our faults and the mistakes we have made in the past, but let me tell you the moment you begin to see past all the mistakes and pain of the past not only will it begin to get easier to love yourself and those around you a confidence you didn't have before will also begin to blossom.
Your challenge this week is to take some time to look through scripture and remind yourself what God says about you. You are worthy, loved, filled with purpose, and you are enough. It is my prayer that all of you can begin to truly love yourselves and see yourselves as you really are - worthy, loved, cherished, and needed children of the most high!
You have a God-given uniqueness!
- Alianna C.