What if we spoke to other people the way we speak to ourselves?
Over the past five days I was at an event run by my diocese called “On the Move” which is a street reach mission trip which aims to spread God’s word and love through serving others. This year we roamed Letterkenny in our (very bright) yellow t-shirts. On the back of them was printed a part of Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbour.” But on the Sunday morning a women came up to me and a few others and said “don’t forget to love yourself, that’s just as important” she was referring to the rest of the verse, “Love your neighbour as yourself”
The women quickly walked on, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what she had said for the rest of the day. It’s true that sometimes in the midst of our busy lives we focus so much on how we treat others that we forget about ourselves. Jesus doesn’t tell us to love our neighbour and hate ourselves, he asks us to love our neighbour and ourselves equally.
I feel that in today’s society people (including myself) sometimes think that if they love themselves it makes them cocky or big headed-it doesn’t! You can still be grounded and love yourself, in fact, the two go hand in hand.
I understand completely that sometimes it’s harder than others to love yourself, but in these situations I take a step back and remember to whom I belong. In Ephesians, Paul describes us as “God’s masterpiece” and in James it says “we, out of all creation, became His prized possession.”
God sees the darkest parts of us and yet loves us as if we were perfect. We need to know that we are significantly loved and that we can love ourselves, just as we love the people we surround ourselves with.