Self Love

A long time ago I was reading a book, and the author was trying to make a point about how to treat others. He said something along the lines of “you should not treat others as you want to be treated (in essence, implying that Matthew 7:12 -The Golden Rule- was slightly incorrect)” because if for example, you were a masochist, you would not want to inflict pain on others for no just cause. The author, in his wisdom, opined that you should rather treat people the way they want to be treated.

This view made sense to me until I asked myself, “what if the other person is a masochist, and wants me to treat him/her that way? Would that make it right for me to inflict pain on someone just because they want to be treated that way?”. It was a “curb your logic” moment for me.

Of course, there is a standard for our relationships with “neighbors”, with the people around us.

Matthew 7:12 (AMP)
So then, in everything treat others the same way you want them to treat you, for this is [the essence of] the Law and the [writings of the] Prophets.

Mark 12:31 (NLT)
“…The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

Leviticus 19:18 (NLT)
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

Galatians 5:14
“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Yep! It’s in a lot of places, so there’s no confusion as to the standard that God expects from us.

Still, there is a common theme in all of these injunctions: “as yourself”. There is no way you can follow God’s instructions to “Love your neighbor as yourself” if you do not love yourself with the Love of Christ, the way God wants you to love yourself. And you can’t love yourself properly if you don’t understand and receive what the Love of God is. That’s the first and most important step.

With the understanding of God’s love, Love yourself! Be patient with yourself, be kind to yourself: essentially use Christ’s example to Love yourself (John 13:32). That’s the only way you can effectively love others.

The call to “Love your neighbor as yourself” isn’t a call to destroy yourself in the service of others. It’s a call to experience Love in 3D- God, Neighbors, Yourself. Jesus values your person so much, he died for you. You should value yourself too.