‘To love others you must love yourself first’
CHRISTIAN Comment with Steve Scott (Scotty) of the Five Valleys Christian Fellowship One of the basic teachings of Christianity is to 'Love your neighbour as yourself'.
When the Bible talks of love it is not talking about emotions and feelings but about actions and behaviour.
Love is something I do not something I feel.
When I look at love as an action rather than an emotion it begins to make it possible for me to love people no matter what I feel about them.
So how do I love my neighbour?
Jesus made the whole thing incredibly simple for us by saying 'Do to others as you would have them do to you' no matter who they are.
Jesus even went as far as telling us to 'love our enemies'.
I am sure he didn’t expect us to go all emotionally soppy about them.
He was telling us to treat them well even though they are our enemy.
He even suggests that doing so may convince them that they no longer need to be our enemy.
As I begin to explore the words 'Love your neighbour as yourself' in a completely practical way it suggests that in order to love others I must first love myself.
To be honest whenever I have heard someone say something like 'he really loves himself', it’s always been meant in a negative way suggesting that the person thinks far too highly of themselves.
Yet Jesus obviously expected us to love ourselves.
So if the Bible talks of loving others, it’s in a way that has nothing to do with how I feel about them, but how I treat them.
Could this also be true for myself as well?
Many of us don’t feel good about ourselves and struggle with who and what we are.
If Jesus believed that loving your enemy could even eventually change him from being an enemy, is it just possible that if I also began to treat myself well, to love myself, I too would also begin to change what I feel about myself.
In fact maybe it goes even deeper than this.
I can only give what I have.
Maybe it’s only really possible for me to love others if I do first love myself.
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