Daniel Foster | @danielfoster07
Unless you've been living under a rock the last few months, chances are you have heard Justin Bieber's new hit single "Love Yourself". If you haven't heard it, go give it a listen. The song itself has really nothing to do with this post, however the title, "Love Yourself", really got me thinking about those words. Do you love yourself? Like actually love yourself? Loving yourself is not a topic spoken very often among churches. Loving Jesus, loving others, these are where we tend to spend most of our time focusing, but we often neglect ourselves.
I'd like for you to read this verse with me:
"Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:37-39
First and foremost, we must love Jesus with everything we have. Most of us already know that, but then we tend to jump straight to loving others, and we never truly learn to love ourselves. The passage says we must love our neighbor AS ourselves meaning we must first love ourselves before we can begin loving others. John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give us life, life more abundantly. To the fullest! How can we enjoy life to the fullest if we despise who we are?
And when I say things like "love yourself", I'm not referring to the arrogant, prideful, stuck-up type of love people often display. This is a concept about being thankful and appreciative of the person God has created in you. I understand that this can be a great challenge because we are constantly battling between the truth of what we know about ourselves (our faults, insecurities, weaknesses) and comparing ourselves with what we see in other people. We see our scars, and our hurt, not realizing that our scars show others that healing does indeed come. So at some point we must take a step back and realize that God created us for a very special purpose. We are His masterpiece (Eph 2:10 NLT) and created in His image (Gen 1:27).
You are created to be a reflection of the Most High. A hand crafted masterpiece created to show off His splendor. Isn't that something to look in the mirror and be proud of? So love yourself!
Daniel Foster comes from the outskirts of Atlanta. He serves on staff at DeVotie Baptist Church where he is the student pastor. Daniel is a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs and the Atlanta Braves. You can find him on Twitter at @danielfoster07.