I want to address and support John’s recent posts about loving your self.
Matthew 22:37-40 NLT (emphasis mine)
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
John 12:25 TPT
“The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life!”
This scripture explains the wrong self-love, a problem we were born with: “We Love and Pamper self.” But rightly loving your Self, as obedience to God’s commandment, is something entirely different than self-worship.
THE HOLY SPIRIT HOLDS OUR MEMORIES
I lean on this faithful promise about the Holy Spirit:
But when the Father sends the Spirit of Holiness, the One like Me who sets you free, He will teach you all things in My name. And He will inspire you to remember every word that I’ve told you.
John 14:26 TPT (emphasis mine)
Being sheep, we are incapable of remembering the many revelations of God. They are just too rich for little brains.
Also, we underestimate the pressure of the enemy to rob us of our love-light, and so the Spirit is assigned to keep in Himself, our memories of revelation.
Satan, the source of Hate, hates anyone who loves the God of love. And he is relentless to infect us with hate for self.
These days the Holy Spirit is reminding me of something extremely important, words He spoke to me some 40 years ago.
“There’s a person you hate.”
Oh no, Lord, I don’t hate anyone!
“Yes, you do. You hate you and you will be accountable for that, just the same as if it were any person.”
I thought it was justified to hate ME! I was so stupid and bumbling. My humanity always seemed to fail me in ‘being perfect’ (you can’t see, but I’m smiling at this foolishness). Currently though, the Lord is bringing back this issue of self-loathing, and using the very words He spoke to me, long ago:
“You are the only person you will ever know intimately and totally. Yours is the only life you will ever live. You are to respect yourself because you are My own creation and because I have chosen you.”
Respect, such a great word for love. To respect our Creator, we need to respect His creation of our unique self!
RESPECT AND THE SECOND COMMAND OF GOD
Respect! Esteem, reverence, honor, value. The opposite? Contempt.
I wrote a booklet called Overcoming Self-hatred. But I didn’t write about the work of loving yourself! What takes the place of self-hatred? Loving your person, your existence, your creation…in OBEDIENCE to the Second Commandment of God.
The second command! At the top of God’s will.
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’
It’s very clear. Your love for others will be the exact measure of your love – or hate – for your self. So, to obey this is to love your self greatly, purely, deeply and genuinely.
Loving your self begins as a choice of committed obedience and then it becomes a life of delight.
RESPECT YOUR SELF, HONOR YOUR CREATOR
Learning to respect myself has lately been a prayer, a discipline, and an obedience. But I never anticipated the power unleashed by surrender to the Second Command of Almighty God.
First, because I am purposing to include myself in God’s unending Circle of Love, I am genuinely loving myself and there is joy and peace in that. I am no longer my own worst enemy. I have become my advocate in agreement with my God who is my protector and best friend.
Next, I am seeing that it is God’s Love for me that I am receiving on a very deep level of my heart. God’s love is taking me over because I am joining Him in it, agreeing with Him about it!
Self-hate is after all, just pride. I know how to expect perfection of me and to hate that I ever fall short of it.
Self-focus is actually self-hate. Surrender to Love enables you to forget yourself and live in the natural joy of Christ’s love and in contentment and peace with the Father.
When I condemn myself, I cut myself off from God’s Love, yet am ever asking for it.
Genuine respect for God becomes love for your life and self—because of HIM. It is not the love from ego or pride. Rather, it is only humility that enables me to love me!
This post is the first of a two-part look at the issue of loving your self as God commanded us all to do.