What It’s All About

A few days ago I was in a class, where the teacher talked about relationships and love. He shared on how the famous 10 commandments in the Old Testament are all about relationship – with God and with people. 

So often, we tend to look at what God/Jesus is saying as commandments to follow, rules to obey, when all along, they’re of a relational nature. God is telling us what He cares about; giving us a piece of His heart. 

We proceeded to look at what we need and also need to give others, in order to be loved/love them: 

Grace and compassion

Time and attention

Identity and value 

Etc.. 

And it really struck me how it is important for God that I listen to Him and care about what He has to say. Just like with any other friend. No, it’s not like I haven’t taken time to listen to Him before, or that I don’t treasure what He tells me, but I’ve never thought of it quite this way before. Giving God time and attention isn’t just a wise thing to do for your own sake. It’s something that really touches God Himself. 

We went on to look at Matthew 22:36-40: 

Teacher, (Jesus) which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (NIV) 

There are three things I have to say about this passage today: 

1) Clearly, it matters a lot to God that we love Him! To break it down a little bit; when we love someone, we care about them, we want to listen to and spend time with them, we think about how we affect that someone with our words and actions, we trust them, etc. 

2) When Jesus speaks of the Law and the Prophets, He’s basically talking about all the commandments found in the Old Testament. What are they all rooted in? Loving God, your neighbor (other people) and yourself. “Get” love (relationships), and you don’t have to worry about any other commandments. They all spring out of love anyway. 

3) Yes, I knew this passage commands us to love God and others. I also knew that we need to love ourselves, for our own sake, but also in order to truly love others. A fresh revelation for me this week was this: We are commanded to love ourselves! 

As the song goes: 

All we need is love. 

 

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Love Yourself

So He (Jesus) answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27, NKJV)

I’m sure there’s a lot I could say just from this one sentence. About loving God. Loving your neighbor. 

But I’m not going to. 

Instead, I will focus on the part where Jesus says we need to love others as we love ourselves.

Isn’t loving God and others important? It’s pivotal!

But so is loving yourself. As you love yourself, you’re supposed to love your neighbor (those around you, basically) accordingly. 

Having a high value for yourself (healthy love), actually enables you to love others even more. 

Valuing yourself is not arrogant. I can be confident and still humble. I am not more, I am not less. I am everything I’m made to be. Valuing myself is actually honoring God, who created me. 

 

How can I love myself?!? (In a healthy way) 

Stay in community with God and people. Listen to what He has to say to you and receive His love for you. Meditate on His love for you. Listening to what God has to say to you is by far the most effective way to start loving yourself. Others can do so much, but God is the key. 

Let significant ones speak into your life, and learn to receive from them as well. Be vulnerable. Be accountable. Share life. 

Be aware of and communicate needs and boundaries. 

Some needs are very practical, but a great way to love yourself. Enough sleep. Nutritious food. Good friendships. Feeling valued and safe. 

Now would be a good time to make an action plan in order to love yourself well: 

Set aside time with God and significant others. Get accountability partners and mentors. Write down needs and necessary boundaries, and make sure to communicate them when needed. Make a plan to have your basic needs met (that are currently unmet). 

Sit down and record a 100 things you love about yourself or that you’re good at. 

Ex: 

I love my eyes. 

I’m a good listener. 

I’m a great dancer. 

I love the way I speak. 

 

If it’s hard for you to get to a hundred (or even 30), well, then you really need to make this list! 

Find someone to share the list with. Keep the list and go through it regularly. Tell yourself: 

“I have beautiful eyes!” 

“I’m a good friend”  

Especially when you don’t “feel it”. 

 

Good luck!