Galatians 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Today, I want to minister directly to you about “you.” No, this message is not about the neighbor who keeps you on your knees; it’s about you. It’s not about the co-worker who ensures you know Jesus because he/she doesn’t; it’s about you. It’s not about the drunken relative who shows up every year to ruin the family reunion; it’s about you.
So what do I have to say? Love yourself! Yes, love yourself because doing so is a commandment from God! Of course, most of us know that we are supposed to love our neighbor, but unfortunately, that’s the only part of this commandment we focus on. But, if we look a bit closer, we’ll see that we are told to love our neighbor “as” (to the same extent or degree that; with the same fervor or zeal that; with the same measure that; in the same manner that) we love ourselves.
You see, we can’t effectively love others if we don’t love ourselves. If we are expected to have the capacity to forgive our neighbors, then surely we should already have that ability to forgive ourselves, right? Well quite often we don’t. Now why is that? Because we know our own faults too well, and because we do, we look more at our less-than-magnificent side than the God-like side. In other words, we focus on our shortcomings and evaluate ourselves merely by those standards.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We all have actions that we have to repent over, but we need to love ourselves enough that after we repent, ask God’s forgiveness, and receive His forgiveness, we then forgive ourselves. The same way we can forgive our children when they break our hearts, forgive our mates when they hurt us, or even forgive the family pets when they bite us, we need to love ourselves enough to forgive ourselves. Why? Because, we’re human beings, being human.
Of course, you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to miss it. And if God allows you to see more days on the earth, you’ll probably miss it again. But know that God has given you sufficient grace to cover you and an abundance of mercy to love you. And if He who is perfect can love you and forgive you, then you need to take a lesson from Him and do the same: love yourself!