You hear about the commandments to “love God and love your neighbor as yourself”. But what does it mean to love our neighbor ‘as yourself’?
Do you love yourself? We tend to think people who love themselves are a little full of themselves or conceited, don’t we? They may be a little self-centered. Yet, I think those last two words ‘as yourself’ are golden and often overlooked. It pretty much means we have to love ourselves before we can love anyone else. And in order to love ourselves, we have to know what love is. God is love. He sent us his Son to show us His love. And He sends us into the world, too, to show love. We are His children. We are created in His image for some definite purpose.
Remember how perfect our children were when they were born? We were overjoyed when they came out having 10 fingers and 10 toes. And as they grew a little bit, remember the first time they noticed their own reflection in the mirror? They were so in awe of themselves, they wanted to kiss the mirror. We should all continue to look at ourselves that way. We are miracles.
Take a look in the mirror. Who do you see? When you look at you, do you see yourself as the beautiful person God created you to be or do you only see your flaws? Are you focused on that crooked nose or wrinkled forehead? Do you always see the person who has disappointed others or failed at too many things in life? Take another look. Look for the good qualities. There are so many more good ones you could choose to see. Let’s get rid of the negative self talk.
When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who looks like her father and grandfather. I get to carry on and pass down my father’s family traits. She is someone who overcame her mother’s death at a young age, endured her awkward teenage years and grew into a beautiful caring wife, mother and grandmother. I always wished for beautiful gray hair, and it is finally here! I love the person I see in the mirror every morning. How about you?
Our ability to love others depends on how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror. I think it is the very reason we don’t see the good in others. We may have a hard time seeing it in ourselves.
So how do we get to the point where we love others as ourselves? We get rid of the negative self talk in our heads. We stop counting our faults and flaws and start celebrating all the good things we bring into this world. You were created for some definite purpose, one that is supposed to give glory and honor to God. Let’s start there.
Do you have a healthy self-esteem? Don’t beat yourself up with negative self-talk when you make mistakes. Have confidence in your ability to figure stuff out and get things accomplished. When you do accomplish something, look at yourself in the mirror, smile, and tell yourself that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You formed my inmost being, you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me, wonderful are your works!Psalm 139:13-14
Make a list of all the qualities you think you have. Write down the good as well as the bad. Then I want you to start erasing the bad ones and replacing them with good ones like “wonderfully made”.
Start smiling at yourself in the mirror and begin to change the self-talk. Start with positive statements. Keep that smile throughout the day, remembering that God created you for a definite purpose and start living it! You will begin to love your neighbor as yourself.
When someone gives you a compliment, accept it. Don’t dismiss it. Say thank you and add it to your list of things to like about yourself. Think about how beautiful this world would be if it were filled with people who loved others as themselves.
I hope you enjoyed this post. There’s a tab on the page here where you can enter your email if you’d like to follow along, if you aren’t already. You’ll get a post every Wednesday with some content on how to live life to the fullest through character and virtue. I appreciate you.