We hear the definition of love in 1Corinthians 13:4 and we know that it is the definition of the way in which God loves us, of who He is even because He is love. We know we can't love like that through our own efforts but that it is the love He can channel through us towards others.
I don't know about you but I have never thought of applying that passage, that definition of love to the way I feel towards, and treat, myself.
It would mean something like this:
Not to give up on MYSELF but be patient?
Not to be harsh and flaw finding but KIND to ME?
Not to criticise but encourage MYSELF?
Not to mock but respect MYSELF?
Not to turn away from but instead reach out to ME?
Not to strike but hug MYSELF?
Not to glare or sneer but smile at MYSELF?
Not to blame and hold a grudge but forgive, holding nothing against MYSELF?
Not to ignore and treat MYSELF with disdain but to employ some self care - actually look after ME?
Not to hold MYSELF to pressures, expectations and standards but be gentle?
Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.
But what about loving ourselves? Well, He also says:
Love your neighbour as yourself.
We are to love others the way Jesus has loved us and OURSELVES as we love them.
So quite simply: we are to love ourselves the way Jesus loves us.
WE ARE TO LOVE OURSELVES THE WAY JESUS LOVES US!
As ever, we need to rest in the knowledge that Jesus is the only one who has ever loved perfectly and has been punished for our inability to do so. We won't do this well on our own I doubt - we need to receive God's love to love others and therefore to love ourselves.
I desperately need someone to sit with me, to not be a jerk, to remind me of truth, to bear and believe and hope and endure all on my behalf.
This is part of a #selflove series here and at mirrormakeover.org.