“Love your neighbor as yourself” The second GREATEST commandment. How many of us do this? “Well, I love my neighbor all the time”, you might say. Turn the question around now, how many of you love youselves? Now that is a much deeper question that requires some real searching to answer.
Here’s my experience with this critical question. You may have already seen it, but check out this guy below, a bit graphic, I know. Does that look like a guy who loves himself? I can tell you the answer is no.
This picture was taken at the height of my leglism days. If you study it, and I invite you to, you’ll see the eyes of a man who had lost himself in his own “righteousness”. NEVER would I have considered the importance and practical ways of how I should have been “loving myself”. I am supposed to deny myself. I am a worm, God is everything, I must deny self “indulgence”. Well, thankfully this mindset broke with the taking of this photo. It helped lift the denial that kept me blind to the need to take care of this temple God lives in. This weight problem was, as I now know, just an outward manifestation of the inward turmoil and emotional upheaval I was supressing through legalistic mindset. I was avoiding the truth inside of me.
I was reminded of these truths I have experienced when I cut a check to our fitness center this morning. I was tempted by my leglistic self to condemn my action of using that money unwisely. Then I heard the whisper, love yourself. Thank you Jesus that you desire me to love me, that you showed me that I am so worth loving.