Recently, people celebrated Valentine’s Day. It was a day full of expressions of love. Here and there, flowers and chocolates were given and received. Couples, families, and friendly dates were celebrated. In an instant, some people became affectionate, thoughtful and romantic. Efforts in showing how much a person means to another were shown and made the day for many people.
Yes, people are born to love and be loved. We are all capable of loving someone. Our existence is pointless without it. However, there is one question about love that puzzles some, that is, “If we do not love ourselves, will we really be capable of loving someone else?” It is very important to love ourselves first before showing love to others. Having a clear understanding of love will allow us to express it to others even more.
Mark 12:31 – And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
The word love in the preceding passage is the Greek word “agapaö.” It means to love in a social or moral sense. We should realize that each individual has a moral obligation to love yourself first before attempting to love your neighbor (someone else) as the passage states “Thou shalt love thy neighbor AS THYSELF.” Therefore, it is important to love thyself first, then you will be capable of loving your neighbor.
To begin the process of knowing for certain that you love yourself, look in the mirror and ask, “Do I love myself for who I am and how I am made? Do I truly love myself?” While looking in the mirror, talk to yourself. Think about it and give honest answers to the questions to discover if you truly love yourself. Be serious about this. Know deep within whether you believe that you love yourself because you are you, very unique and absolutely special. You cannot love yourself based on someone else’s opinion about you. You should not wait for someone to validate you in order for you to love yourself.
Each one loving self can love others. You are a wonderfully made person. You are distinctive and extremely valuable. Love yourself, then live in a state of peace about your life to make a positive difference in this world as you reach out to love others. This in turn helps our world to be a better place to dwell in. Our world needs more love.
Many people struggle with low self-esteem (your opinion of yourself) for one reason or another. Many times we listen to what someone else says about us. Other times we compare ourselves with someone else to determine our self-worth instead of loving the person who should be number one on our love list. That number one person is you.
Oftentimes, we replace low self-esteem or deal with it by trying to love someone or something else to the extreme. This can sometimes be frustrating for the giver and receiver because it is a half-way effort due to the fact that completeness is missing. Completeness starts with loving God, you and then others in that order. Frequently, we develop resentment and hatred for the person we start out trying to love because we are not receiving the love we give. This includes loving parents, children, mates, jobs, cars, homes, careers, etc. When the substitutes do not love us back, it causes deeper feelings of low self-worth or lack of love for yourself. So many negative emotions and behaviors result from it because of the lack of real love in our lives. Anger, bitterness, fighting one another, retaliation, deceitfulness, verbal and mental abuse surface in relationships and sometimes these bad feelings remain for extended periods of time. Life should not be spent this way, mainly because life spans are very short no matter how long we live here on earth. While we are spending time on earth, life must be full of love in order for it to be great and splendid. This can be the state of your life when you begin loving yourself. You will want to share your love everywhere you go in as many ways as possible. Therefore, people in the world who do not have the fundamental element of love could experience it from you.
I was guilty of not fully loving myself when I was younger. Early in life, I found myself in a loving family. My family loved and took care of me. They constantly reminded me of their love, by simply showing and telling it to me often. My parents displayed the same kind of love to my eight siblings. My siblings flaunted their love for me when we played and laughed together. They helped me out with my work and cheered me on constantly. I loved them also by reciprocating these behaviors. However, in spite of this love from my family, there were several outside forces, when I attended my elementary and secondary schools, that spoke to me about how different and not so lovable they thought I was at that time.
During my formative years, in our social circles there was a stigma associated with people who were of darker pigmentation. I found myself feeling bad when we were at gatherings where the lighter-skinned girls were selected first by the boys and men at a social function. We would be out at a dance, roller skating, or some other gathering where the males asked the females to be a partner in order to participate in an activity. Females with lighter colored skin would be chosen first.
In addition, words were spoken from children in my classes and other social settings that made me feel like I was not as good or as pretty as some of the other children. This was because I was a few shades darker than other family members and friends who were my associates. I, in turn, lashed out against others who had a darker shade of skin than I had at that time. This was a very vicious and ugly cycle of life. I pray that many of the children who were taunted, degraded, made to feel unworthy and debased have recovered from this inappropriate social conduct by establishing a relationship with Christ. Hopefully, they are over comers like many Christians I have met down through the years across continents, countries, states, cities, neighborhoods and homes. Thankfully, I am an over comer too.
Nevertheless, the very same stigmatizing behavior is perpetrated during this time and age in our societies. Our children are still hurting each other and being hurt by their siblings and fellow students. Not only are our children scarring friends, acquaintances and strangers, adults are guilty of these heinous actions too. The ugly sore of lack of love for self is wreaking havoc in our society. Color of the skin is not the only stigma many people face today. Body size (height and weight), facial features, social status, background and ethnicity are some other factors contributing to low self-esteem or self-worth that leads to lack of personal love.
I am so glad the days of low self-esteem are gone from my life. During the early years of my life, I did not have a relationship with Christ. Therefore, I had no idea of whom I should listen to or how to handle outside forces speaking to me about my life.
But now, how SWEET it is to know Christ and to understand God in all His glory! Getting to know Him has been a real blessing for me as I have been transformed into a new creation. I love my God. He is the first love in my life. I love me for who I am with gratefulness to our Father for loving me first and showing me how to love.
Mark 12:30-31 (KJV) 30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
Since becoming a Christian, a born again child of God, He has shown me through His love for me how I can love Him first of all with all that is within me. Realizing that Jesus loved me so much that He died for me makes me more eager to love God for what He did through Jesus Christ. I have come to know that loving God empowers me to love myself. He is in me and I am in Him. This makes it so much easier to realize that He made me in a great fashion. During the later years of my life or my mature years, it has become apparent to me that I am put together by a master designer. Every part of me is beautiful because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:13-14(KJV) 13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
This next piece is my acknowledgement; however, it relates to every life in this earth realm especially yours. The Lord God Almighty protected me when I was in my mother’s womb from the darkness that was there. He allowed me to come forth at the appointed time to see the light. Naturally, speaking and thinking about this creation God made stimulates my mind. He made me special as He did every person reading this blog.
Every person is made in a special way. Our body sizes are awesome because some are short, some are tall, some are huge and some are small. We are very different in our weight. Some are heavy and some are light. And there are those who maintain the proportion of their weight against their height. No matter what the body size is, we should be thankful and love the way we are because we are so beautifully made. Eyes are also unique. Some are slanted where the eyeballs are barely visible. Other eyes are round with very large sockets that are extremely stunning. It is also evident that our lips are different. If the lips are small and dark brown in color or very full with pinkish or reddish tint or any variation in between, they are all lovely no matter what someone else says or thinks. Cheek bones vary in that some are high, other cheek bones are lower. Some cheeks are closer to the nose than others. Remember, your cheeks are your cheeks which are adorable to say the least. Our hands have varying finger lengths and widths. The fingernails have different thicknesses and shapes. Our fingerprints are all distinctive. No two are alike. The differences in our body features do not exhibit the lesser personalities in us but proves that the uniqueness in our appearance has its own beauty, value and purpose. God, what a genius you are, to design such awesome varieties of people all over the world. Take a look at the knee bones, leg and thigh and their shape and length. All were designed special, especially for you by our Maker. Oh, the nose is a fun part of the body that is used to smell. In addition, it helps to distinguish the way we appear to the world. Praise God for these and other special body designs. Love what you look like, how you were designed and where you are in life. You are an incredible creation.
Now that I love myself, it is so much easier for me to love my neighbor as myself. My desire is to spread the love of God all over the world. I know so many people are dealing with the lack of love of self as well as the lack of love from someone else. To everyone out there, you are special. What I am stating has been said by many people, nevertheless, someone is being reached today who has not heard these wonderful words of truth and compassion. Someone may be hearing these fantastic words for the second, third or fourth time. This time, it registers in your spirit. You receive the truth today. You are special and made especially for this time and place. Look at yourself in the mirror or just think about yourself. Declare out loud that you were wonderfully made by the great and only Creator, God! Give yourself a big hug because you love you for who and how you are right now. You became a new creation in Christ at the moment you received Him into your life.
When love is from the heart the words you speak are full of kindness, respect, encouragement, inspiration, love, support, and praises. Your words are uplifting. Your thoughts are loving thoughts; therefore, you desire to speak lovingly to people all over the world. When love is in your heart offenses are rare because you understand people who offend are those who are in need of love. Sisters and brothers all around the world how about you love yourself each and every day? Then love people in a special way.
If you have not made a decision for Jesus Christ this is a good time to ask for forgiveness so you too can become a new creation. This will be a starting point to knowing the true love of God. Then you will be able to love others around you as you love yourself.
Are you ready for ready love yourself? How did this article help you in gaining a better understanding of love? Comment below: