Do Yourself a Favor
Bible Reading: Matthew 22:34-40
Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39
Love ourselves, huh? It’s what God expects when he tells us to love others just like we love ourselves. So take a vote. Are any of these characters loving themselves the way God likes?
- Trisha picks up her test paper, glances at her perfect score, and dances around the classroom waving her grade in everyone’s face.
- Jon pushes to the front of everyone at the locker-room mirror and flexes and poses like he’s Mr. World-Champion Sports Guy.
- Melinda tells everyone she’s getting out of school early for her first modeling photo shoot-and the next day she’s on the playground passing out autographed pictures of herself.
Talk about it: Ever met people like those kids? How are their attitudes and actions goofed up?
There’s a healthy kind of self-love, and God wants us to have a good dose of it. But Trisha, Jon, and Melinda don’t have a clue what healthy self-love is! Being stuck on our beauty, brains, brawn, or bucks amounts to conceit, not love.
Matthew 22:39 implies that we won’t love others in the right way unless we love ourselves in the right way.
Is loving ourselves really okay? Look at it this way: God loves us, so we can love ourselves. God accepts us, so we can accept ourselves. Loving ourselves isn’t just okay, it’s great! It’s what God wants.
Let’s be clear that there are two types of self-image. Seeing ourselves as God sees us-no more or no less-is a healthy self-image. That’s an uplifting thing. It’s also a humbling thing-because we recognize that every gift we possess comes from God.
The second kind of self-image is unhealthy. An unhealthy self-image can be ei¬ther too negative or too positive. People with a negative self-image get down on themselves. People with a positive self-image get high on themselves. Neither kind of unhealthy self-image honors us as God’s special creation.
We can be sure we’re loving ourselves in the right way when we love others more as a result. And when we make loving others our goal, everything else falls into place. Life-and liking ourselves-makes sense. We put others-beginning with Jesus-smack at the center of our attention. And when that happens, God is pleased.
TALK: Say it in your own words: What’s a healthy self-image?
PRAY: Father, teach us to love ourselves in the right way—and to love others as a result.
ACT: Do something for a family member today that says “I believe in you.”