Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Do we love ourselves too much?

Many really do. 
 
Funny. Just noticed this. A top seller right now: The Selfie Stick. And listen.. having one of these doesn't mean you love yourself too much, but.. just sayin'. 
 
You already do ♥ U and I do too (let's admit it.. but who wants to ..too much? Not me. Not you.. right?). U ♥ U. Yup. 
 
Q: When shown a group photo, whose pic in there do you look for first? Sure yours.. so quit tellin' people you hate yourself. 
 
When a teenager says they hate themselves cuz of their zits and how they look, it's not true.. cuz if they really did hate themselves ..wouldn't they be glad they had zits and looked bad? Sure they would. 
 
The Bible is not teaching you to first love yourself and then love your neighbor. Rather, it is teaching that you already love yourself, so now love your neighbor.
 
"The second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." — Mark (12:30-31)

Got some self esteem issues today? Really? How come? 

When the Bible states, "Love your neighbor as yourself," it is clearly not saying, "You need more self esteem. First learn to love yourself more, and then love your neighbor cuz you'll then be able to." Nope, but it is saying, "Hey, it is obvious you already love yourself. Therefore love your neighbor in the same way." 

Today ..at least here in the West.. it is this love of self, this rad obsession with self (I've even seen a magazine called by this S name), and my stuff, my experience, feelings, education.. and my resume, and gettin' "it" my way, and my looks.. (yes ego n self..) that gets us into trouble. It's true. 

You and I don't really need more self-focus, a better self-image, or more love of self. You know what I mean. Who among us needs greater self-esteem? Not me. You and I for sure don't need more self-love. But here is what we do need: Christ (the Savior we see in the Bible), who lived selfless. We need more focus on the Word. 

Jesus (God) said "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). 

Christ did not say, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him esteem himself and cultivate their self-image" or "let him love himself so he can start loving others." Rather, He said, "Let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." This iactually means: to repudiate, to disdain, to disown, to forfeit, to totally disregard. Yikes. Challenging! 

What we often hear in our Land today is how radically significant self is. We hear about the importance of self-image, more self-love, self-worth, and higher self-esteem.. "Dude, have pride in yourself."  Why? Pride in self has meant gobs of trouble for us humans for centuries. 

And we even hear it preached in our churches, Sadly, yes proclaimed from our pulpits in Jesus' Name: "Doesn't the Scripture say, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'? First you have to love yourself, and then you love your neighbor." Wrong!!! 

The Bible is not teaching you to first love yourself and then love your neighbor. Rather, it is teaching that you already love yourself, so now love your neighbor. In fact, the Bible says, "For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it... " (Ephesians 5:29). We already have self-love. Now we need to love others in the same way.
 
You will hear people say, "I am trying to find myself." But Jesus says that if you want to find yourself, then lose yourself. If you want to find your life, deny yourself.

What is the big prob in your life? It ain't our spouse. It ain't your mean boss. It ain't your co-workers or fellow students. It ain't your environment or upbringing or lack of education. It ain't really your low self-esteem or poor self-image. It be that proactive, overt love of ourselves. The ultimate choice in life for you and me is.. between living to primarily please ourselves or primarily living to please God by obeying Jesus.  facebook.com/shareJesus
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