God challenges us to love our neighbour as ourself in Luke 10, what does this mean? What happens if we don’t love ourselves, does that mean we can’t love our neighbour? I led a brief devotion in our staff meeting recently and when I was praying about what to talk about this is what God put on my heart, so I though I’d share on my blog too.
In Luke 10, in this scripture, starting from verse 25, which first declares the most important commandment as loving God with all your heart, mind and soul and adds love your neighbour as yourself, precedes the story of the good samaritan. The man asks Jesus, who is my neighbour? So I want to ask you, too. Who is your neighbour?
Sometimes we think too literally, and think of those we live around, but there is also danger in thinking about it too deeply and actually forgetting those around us physically.
Loving ourself has bad connotations in the world we live in now, you don’t want to be seen as “up yourself” or that you have a “big ego.” They are not traits we desire in this world. But God, our creator, our father, calls us to love others how we love ourselves and he does just that, he calls us love ourself. He goes against what the world is saying and declares it good and healthy and rewarding to love ourself, after all we were made by God, creator of all good things. He made us in his image, and he declared his creation good, He wants us to feel the same, He wants us to look in the mirror or describe our personality and think “God made me, in His very own image, and it is good, I am good.” God wants us to declare that over ourselves, regularly, so we start believing it, and he wants our inner core to know it, to truly know it, and believe it and to use that fact in our lives.
This is the place from where we can truely start loving our neighbours. Yes, I believe when you don’t love yourself you can still show love to your neighbour, but not to the same extent, not love in it’s entirety and fullnes, not love like Jesus showed us.
When we love ourself, loving others will more more natural and come from a better mindset, more “I want to love others to demonstrate God’s love for them and for me,” than “I want to love others like God loves me, oh and this makes me feel better about myself too, that’s cool.”
Please don’t get me wrong, this is a huge challenge for me too, something I have always struggled with and still do, but as well as God challenging me, He wanted to challenge you too.
My challenge for you today is to ask God who your neighbours are, ask God how you can demonstrate love to them, even the “unloveable” neighbour who you just don’t get along with, and to start belieiving in yourself, YOU are God’s good creation!”
Jesus dying for us was the ultimate demonstration of loving your neighbour, we all are His neighbours and because of Him each one of us are neighbours, united in Christ. Pretty cool, but also pretty challenging!
I pray that this will challenge you, and God begin’s or continues any healing within you that is needed for you to love yourself. God will get you there.
Apologies for the lack of updates, I have been really busy with essays, and a broken elbow (nearly fully healed now) didn’t help!