LOVE - Loving Ourselves

In our series so far we have looked at loving each other and loving our communities. In this week’s blog we will be looking at the idea of loving ourselves. As Christians it can be difficult to find love for ourselves. We are so occupied with taking care of others we can sometimes forget about ourselves.
However, how can we truly serve our friend, our family or our community if we do not take care of ourselves first?
We are God’s children just like everyone else.
“See what great love the father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)
We are loved truly by God. We are his children and he has made us perfectly. So why would we not love part of God’s creation? He made us in his image in the way which was pleasing to him. Who are we not to honour that?
In Mark 12:31, the two greatest commandments are to “Love your neighbour as yourself”. It is a direct command God that we should not only love each other but love ourselves. In order to serve God fully we must love all of his creation.
In our culture it is not easy to love yourself at times. Social media, the news and other people put huge amounts of pressure on us to fulfil what is “expected” of us. At times we can feel under pressure to fulfil an ideal image rather than loving the inner person. “Do not conform to the patten of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
In the same vein we can also feel that by loving ourselves and putting ourselves first can be just as bad. We may feel the words “selfish” or “narcissistic” and we may feel that we have those traits if we do not commit ourselves 100% to serving others or focusing on others. 
“We love because God first loved us.” (1John 4:19)  We should not focus on loving ourselves in a secular way but instead we should love the way which God has made us; and the love which he has for us. We are part of God’s creation. He has loved us since before we were born, before we were even thought about. We should love ourselves because that is what God has commanded of us.

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