Mark 12:31 …You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
When the Bible says love the Lord God with all you heart, it makes sense for any Christian. Why? Because He is God. He is our salvation and our source. He has forgiven our sins through His son Jesus. In Him we live, we move and we have our being.
The loving your neighbor part also seems straight forward. It shows that we desire to do God's will and live out our faith.
The difficult one for most of us is to love 'self'.
The truth is we can't love our neighbours if we don't know that we are loved. When you claim to love your neighbour but yet struggle to love yourself then you are living a lie. The Bible is clear: love your neighbour as self. You can only love your neighbours truthfully when you love yourself the way God loves you.
If you have never experienced love without condition; it is very hard to love anyone or anything. And the last person you ever love is yourself. If you are born into a dysfunctional family your idea of love will always be flawed. And you spend your whole life seeing your sinful side and forgetting that you are indeed a magnificent creation of God (Psalm 139).
The first letter of John contends that we are able to love because we have first been loved.
When I say that you need to love yourself, I'm not talking about the prideful, worldly type of loving oneself (also known as self-worship). I'm talking about being thankful for you are and for appreciating the person who God has made you to be.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us ~ Romans 5:5
Whenever you respond in a behaviour that pushes God’s love and truth out of alignment; you inhibit your ability to live in God’s design and purpose for your life.
So it will make sense for you then to spend more time with God and saturate your mind with the truth of God's Word; so that you can learn how to take better care of yourself and to love others truthfully.
Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness”.
Jesus loves you. Jesus believes in YOU. And when you see how truly amazing He thinks YOU are, you will learn to love yourself. And as you do that, you will love those around you in a freer and deeper way than you can imagine.