Learning to Love Yourself

If you lived through the 80’s, there is a good chance that these lyrics from the tune “Greatest Love of All” (made famous by Whitney Houston’s cover) may sound familiar to you:

Because the greatest love of all is happening to me,
I found the greatest love of all inside of me,
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve,
Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

While the song may have been a hit, the greater truth is that many people have a hard time loving themselves and learning to do so is not as “easy to achieve” as the song suggests. A Google search on “learning to love yourself” will offer multiple results from self-help authors on self-discovery, and self-improvement. While the Bible promotes self-love, it does so for the objective of loving others instead of just focusing on ourselves.

When the “teachers of the law” pressed Jesus to make his top picks among the commandments, he replied that the greatest act is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, followed secondly by loving your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31) This suggest that our priority is to love God first and then loving others and loving ourselves become by-products of our first choice to develop a relationship with God the Father.

If we find it difficult to love God, we may find it challenging to love ourselves, and the thought of loving others falls even further down the list. Before coming to faith in Jesus, I found it difficult to love God simply because I did not know who God is and what He was like. I used to see God as a cosmic guardian that I would attempt to avoid at all cost, in the same manner that we would avoid a traffic cop when driving on the road. However, when I started to see God as a loving Father who desires to have a relationship with me, that was the catalyst to seeing (and loving) myself the way that God sees me. [More on that in this message: When You Feel Insecure]

Life Groups fulfill the scriptural mandate of loving others in our community by: serving one another (1 Pet 4:10); being devoted and giving preference to one another (Rom 12:10); accepting one another (Rom 15:7); caring for one another (1 Cor 12:25); and bearing one another’s burden (Gal 6:2). The sermon-based discussion notes in our Life Group offer opportunity to learn more about God and to experience spiritual growth by asking, “How can we apply what we have learn from God’s Word in our personal life this week?” It is when we surround ourselves with people that sees us the way that God does, that you and I might achieve an easy way in learning to love ourselves after all!