I understand this will make some folks uncomfortable. I can see the gears in your mind working through this. “What does he mean, love thyself?! We’re not supposed to do that!” Wrong.
We know the first greatest commandment is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, all you soul, and all your mind.’ The second greatest commandment is of equal importance: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-40).
There is an inferred third commandment listed. We understand you will love your neighbor to the extent you love yourself. People typically love those closest to them in a similar fashion as they love themselves.
People emulate what is inside. People who express anger at others do so because they are generally angry with themselves. They have lost control of something, so anger results, and someone else ends up being the beneficiary of their anger, either now or later.
We cannot love God if we don’t love the people around us. And, we cannot love those around us if we don’t love ourselves.
I am not talking about self-adulation, self-adoration, self-exaltation, or narcissism. If we don’t have a healthy love for ourselves, we cannot wholly and effectively love others. If we cannot effectively love others, then we cannot wholly love God.
When somebody does not love themself, they have a low self-image or a poor sense of self.
There are certain temperaments, which are naturally prone to think negatively about themselves. We can overcome this belief system by looking at ourselves through the ‘eyes of Christ’ rather than through our own eyes.
We can find self-image teaching in the Bible using the word ‘humility.’ We define a humble view of self as an accurate view of self. Nothing more, nothing less.
God has poured into each individual abilities, capabilities, and talent. Learn to embrace who God created you to be. Learn to appreciate God’s creative genius in you. Then let Him use you as He desires. You will be blown away, and the Kingdom will benefit.
“Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35b).