Do you love yourself? Do you really love yourself as God wants you to?
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he offered this.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul mind and strength, and love others as yourself.” (Mark 12:29-31) See also Matthew 19:18-19.
We can not love others in the manner God intends us to without loving ourselves in a God-honoring way. And, we are not able to sustain the types of habits God wants us to live by without this type of core, self-love that is received from God.
The love God wants us to have for ourselves is the agape-type love that God displayed for us when he sent his Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we might enjoy an eternal and abundant life. This is an unselfish – an unconditional type of love.
Many of us look to outward things and often resort to unhealthy often addictive behaviors in an effort to “feel good” about ourselves or to fill a very deep whole we have in our heart because we do not truly love ourselves. Some call this low self esteem. I think that God would say it’s because there is a deep root of low agape love of one’s self.
God loves you. His love is so wide and deep that you cannot measure it. (Ephesians 3:18-19) When a person accepts Jesus into her heart, God’s Holy Spirit begins to live in her. The more she turns her heart to God, believes in truths found in the Bible and surrenders herself to God, the greater the display of God’s love is present in her life. One such “fruit” is love, including a godly self-love.
The more the measure of self love we have, through the work of God’s Spirit, the more we are able to love others as God commands us. Additionally, the more love we have for ourselves, the more motivation and power we will have to make any desired behavior changes in our lives.
Maybe you desire to lose weight. Maybe you want to become more physically active. Or, perhaps you are challenged by an unhealthy addictive behavior that you’d like to stop. Agape self-love can be instrumental in providing the motivation to start these change of habits and in receiving the determination and power to continue with the new lifestyle.
This type of genuine agape love of yourself is best received from the God who created you. The best way I know to learn about God’s love is through spending time with him as I read the Bible and by praying to him in conjunction with that.
Questions to Ask Yourself (Consider commenting with your responses on this blog!)
Are you struggling with making behavior changes that have not been sustained?
Do you have a deep agape-type love of yourself that has been given to you by God?
Have you received the unconditional love that God has for you by accepting the love of his Son, Jesus
Resources Related to God’s Love
Article – God Wants You Whole
Website – All About God – God is Love
Training Materials – A workshop package to help share God’s love and his truths about the spirituality-health connection and equip others to make behavior changes.