The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

For many people the idea of loving yourself sounds a bit suspicious. This is especially true for Christ-followers who have heard sermons on the dangers of pride and the benefits of being humble. But loving yourself is really the key to having a close relationship with God as well as with others.

Paul summarizes the entire law in one phrase: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. But we can’t love our neighbor until we love ourselves. Loving ourselves means that we are so comfortable with who we are that what others think of us has no bearing on how we feel about ourselves.  

Jesus is the ultimate example of love. As the Son of God He knew who He was. That’s why He was able to respond so well to the attacks leveled against Him. Rather than reacting to the attacks in anger or becoming defensive, He responded in love and wisdom.

One of the most well used scriptures about love is I Corinthians 13. We call it ‘The Love Chapter’. The description of love in this chapter should be applied to ourselves before we can apply it to others.

“Love is patient…” We need to be patient with ourselves as we journey through life. Too often we get frustrated when we can’t accomplish a task or we fail once again or we fall into sin. Being patient with ourselves means we work as hard as we can to reach our goals (whatever they may be) while we acknowledge that we are only human. Thank your Heavenly Father every day for the fact that He is patient with you. Your actions and failures never surprise God. He never tires of brushing the dust from our clothes, picking us up and helping us back on the way.

“Love is not arrogant or proud…” Loving yourself means you have a grasp of who you are. You enjoy the gifts God has given you and use them freely and openly for His glory, but, at the same time you realize that your accomplishments are not because of you but because God is using you.

“Love keeps no record of wrongs…” Okay. So you failed again last week. Confess it, repent and ask God to help you do better this time. Loving yourself means that the mistakes of last week are gone! Move on now. Stop beating yourself up. Our Father is ready and willing to forgive you and you should forgive yourself as well.

“Love always protects…” If you love yourself you need to protect yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be put in positions where others can hurt you.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, sometimes it seems like I fail You on a daily basis. I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see. I thank You for loving me as I am, for being patient when I fail, and for forgiving me when I rebel. Help me to live as a child of the King because through Jesus that is who I am! Amen.