Bible Society of South Africa
Quintus Heine

New Seasons – Day 10

Love yourself

Bible text(s)

39The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’

Matthew 22:39GNBOpen in Bible reader

14I praise you because you are to be feared;

all you do is strange and wonderful.

I know it with all my heart.

Psalms 139:14GNBOpen in Bible reader

Someone once asked me, “How can you love yourself? Isn’t that a little self-centred?” There are people who struggle to understand the concept of self-love. Maybe, it’s because self-love is sometimes confused with self-centredness. Self-centredness is to act as if the world revolves around you and your interests. Such an attitude of self-centredness and self-glorification has nothing to do with love for yourself, rather, it is to idolise yourself. If your actions come at the expense of other people and harm them, it is not love but selfishness. Love is something else. Matthew 22 teaches us that love for yourself is inextricably linked to the love you have for others.

Love builds up both you and those around you; it is not destructive to anyone. Self-love is to know that you and others are valuable, because you are made in the image of God. God loves you so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you. This makes you and others around you very precious. That’s why you should not underestimate or break down either yourself or other people – God created you! Self-love is to know and accept yourself. You need to be aware of your strengths as well as your weaknesses, and be willing to accept them and live with them. This doesn’t mean that you simply accept the sins in your life – it means you acknowledge them and work on them. If you do not have a balanced view of yourself, are not at peace with how God created you and do not love yourself, you will struggle to love others. To love yourself is to care for your physical and mental health, to look after and protect yourself.

Psalm 139:14: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Matthew 22 teaches us to love ourselves and other people in the same way. It’s sometimes difficult to apply this balance. The test of self-love is to care for others as you care for yourself.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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