Sunday, January 10, 2016

Do You Love Yourself?

To be honest, I have never thought about loving myself. My parents never taught me that I was supposed to love myself. No preacher told me I was supposed to love myself. The Bible never commands us to love ourselves. This "self-love" thing wasn't taught in my generation. Therefore, I never tried loving myself. However, our culture sure talks about loving ourselves! I looked to see if Charles Spurgeon, a great preacher of old, said anything about it and this is what he said, "I am certain thou needest no exhortation to love thyself, thine own case will be seen to, thine own comfort will be a very primary theme of thine anxiety. Thou wilt line thine own nest well with downy feathers, if thou canst. There is no need to exhort thee to love thyself. Thou wilt do that well enough. Well, then, as much as thou lovest thyself love thy neighbour. And mark, by this is meant—thine enemy, the man who opposes thee in trade, and the man of another class. Thou oughtest to love him as thou lovest thyself."

Our problem isn't whether or not we love our self. It's whether or not we truly love others and care about their welfare as much as we care about ours. Most of us worry about things. We worry about our self and how something will affect us. We are all selfish and this is why the greatest command is to love the Lord and to love others as we love our self since we all love ourselves too much. 

This sure puts into perspective what true love really looks like! Since most of our waking thoughts are about our self, we must learn to think and pray for others more. If we see someone in need, we help them in any way we can. The Bible tells us that whatever we sow, that will we reap. We can't out give God. We just can't but do most of us believe it? Do we really love others as much as our self? Probably not. God calls us to be living sacrifices. This means He wants us to give ourselves away since He knows we are selfish and will make sure our own needs are met.

First Corinthians chapters 10 and 13 (the “love” chapter) provides additional exhortation. It boggles the mind when one considers how the insidious and unbiblical doctrines of self-love and self-esteem have been so widely preached and promoted within Christendom. Were it not for Scripture prophesying that this would take place in the last days {2 Timothy 3:1, 2}, the invasion of selfist-psychology in the church through so-called Christian psychology would seem incredible. But we are living in those days! {The Berean Call}

We are nothing without Christ. We can't save ourselves. We can try to love ourselves all we want but it won't make a bit of difference on judgment day if we don't love God and believe in the work of His Son on the cross for our sins. Therefore, instead of teaching people to love or find themselves, they need to be taught who they are in Christ and that God loves them.

Yes, we are the temple of the Spirit; What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's {1 Corinthians 6:19, 20} but these verse don't tell us to love ourselves. Our bodies are not our own and we are commanded to glorify the Lord with our bodies. We should take care of them and discipline them but most importantly, we need to walk in the Spirit and not use them in satisfying the lusts of the flesh.

I find that I spend too much time thinking about myself and I think most people are like me. We need to spend more time thinking about the Lord and others since we are called to DENY ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him. This means we are actually supposed to be willing to die for Him. This world is not our home. We are called to be living sacrifices and give our lives away. Many people have said that when tragedy happens in their life, the way they have dealt with it was by getting busy and serving others.

Yes, I am going to go to the ER when I am extremely sick and I will do whatever I can to be healthy. I eat organically, clean with non-toxic chemicals and try to live as closely to the way the Lord intended us to live. I don't want to get cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. so I do what I can and leave the rest to Him. {I do have a brain tumor and fused neck but I always remind myself that my time is in His hands; not my will but Thine be done.}

I will not, however, spend a lot of money on myself buying expensive clothing, having a lot of plastic surgeries, facials, manicures, and many other things people do in our culture to "love" themselves. This is my conviction since I would rather use my money on more important things like helping out my family, friends and others.

Bottom line is we think too much about ourselves. We are selfish and must learn to be generous and love others MORE since God knows we will never have trouble "loving" ourselves and taking care of ourselves. I'm not going to go around telling others how much I love myself or tell myself that as our culture teaches. I'd rather go around  telling others how much God loves them instead!

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  
For men shall be LOVERS of their own selves.
II Timothy 3:1, 2