Loving yourself is a huge part of five things. When we love ourselves we realize that we are created with gifts and talents, we are created to thrive, and we are empowered to love others instead of constantly comparing ourselves to them.
Unlike the popular Justin Bieber song which I now can’t get out of my head, I wanted to talk about a verse I have been thinking of lately. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Matthew 22:39
You may have heard this verse taught on, but more often than not we hear the message “Who is your neighbor?” Well, as moms we have many neighbors: our kids, our spouses, friends, our actual neighbors, etc., but that’s not what I want to talk to about today. Today I want to offer you some encouragement.
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Matthew 22:39
Love yourself! Did you know that loving yourself is actually a prerequisite to even loving another person? The verse doesn’t say “Love your neighbor and love yourself” because that would have a whole different meaning altogether. It says to “Love your neighbor just like you love yourself.” What does that really look like for some of us? If we treated our neighbors the way to we treat our own selves, I’m guessing many of us wouldn’t have too many friends.
God made us and is quite delighted in in us. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all of your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Why is it then that we have a God who delights in us, but we choose to be our own worst critics?
Comparison is the thief of joy. At no other point in history have we had access to so many neighbors. Thanks to social media we get to see the best of so many other people’s lives to measure ours against. We create this standard for ourselves that isn’t realistic in any way, shape, or form, and yet we give ourselves hell when we don’t measure up to it.
In the beautiful song Reckless Love there is a line that says, “There’s no lie you won’t tear down coming after me.” What lies are we believing about ourselves that we think disqualify us from living the empowered life that God has created us for? This Easter, as we reflect on the story of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, I encourage you to let Him take every single lie that you tell yourself in the mirror daily, or let cross your mind that you think no one will ever know about, to the cross with Him. The truth is He thought you were far too valuable to let these things hold you back from living a powerful life.
I’m so thankful that the only person that God measures us up to is Jesus Christ, and in that, He sees us as perfect thanks to Jesus’ finished work on the cross.