Monday, February 06, 2012

Loving Yourself

Many people agree with what seems like a logical and rational progression: to love God, we must first love ourselves. There are generally a couple of assumptions with this statement.

One, people do not love themselves.

I think the Bible disagrees with that. It says people do love themselves. This love is evident by the priority people give themselves. They look out for number one. They make sure they are fed. They make sure they are comfortable. Even people who consider suicide are giving themselves priority. They are in a situation with so much pain or so much trouble, no answers or solutions, and continuing to walk through the situation will bring no good to themselves. Removing themselves from the situation becomes the best response.

Two, love always gives the best to the object loved.

A brief look at a number of people’s lives demonstrates that while they love themselves – they give themselves priority in attention, time and energy – they do not love themselves well. They make decisions that damage themselves. There is the simple “if it feels good, do it” mentality. There is the avoidance of pain. There is the gratification of any and all desires.

People do love themselves. They do not always know how to love themselves well.

To love God and people, we need to learn to change our priorities (to put some ahead of ourselves) and to change what we view as expressing love (indulging vs. refraining).

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