Looking Out for Number One – Today’s Family Devotion

Looking Out for Number One

Bible Reading: Mark 12:28-34

I know that it is important to love [God] with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbors as myself.   Mark 12:33

True or false: At the start of all airplane flights, a cabin attendant

□ True  □ False

tells you where the plane is headed

□ True  □ False

points to the exits

□ True  □ False

explains how to buckle your seat belt

□ True  □ False

instructs you that “in the unlikely event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, you should help your neighbor put on his or her oxygen mask—before you put on your own”

If you marked that last choice false, then you’re a brilliant airplane passenger. Here’s the rule: If the inside of the airplane suddenly runs short on air, your first job is to put on your own oxygen mask. Then you can help the people sitting around you. After all, if you’re wheezing, you’re not much good to anyone. Including yourself.

Self-love works the same way. Jesus told us to love others as we love ourselves (see Matthew 22:39) because the right kind of self-love equips us to love others.

• Physically: You buckle up in the car, refuse to abuse substances, and get enough sleep so you don’t get grouchy.

• Mentally: You guard your mind by turning off negative TV programs, videos, music, and movies.

• Socially: You stay out of groups where you give in to doing wrong.

• Spiritually: You fill your heart with Scripture, make yourself accountable to others, and stand against Satan’s attempts to discourage you.

Self-love means investing time and effort in our own growth so we are prepared to minister to others—because we can’t give what we don’t have. Only as we love and care for ourselves are we equipped to love and care for others as Christ commanded us.

If we do anything less than cautiously, wisely care for ourselves, we hurt both ourselves and others. We cheat ourselves out of the healthy love God expects us to show ourselves. And we won’t have what it takes to serve others. God loves you too much to let you trash yourself!

TALK: How can you wisely love yourself? How can you help others in your family take care of themselves?

PRAY: God, we’re grateful that you think we’re worth taking care of.

ACT: How are you cheating yourself of healthy self-love? Pick one area and set one goal for better caring for yourself.