Galatians 5:14. “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Doing an image search for this one was a real education. Everyone with an agenda has taken this simple command of God and used it to support his own philosphy of life. It’s really not that complicated, folks.
We are to love God supremely. After that, we are to love others in the same way we love ourselves. Keep in mind that Paul quoted this verse in the context of Law vs.Grace. He is teaching here the lovely simplicity of grace, as compared to the complication of living one’s life by the letter of the law. Simple. Love God. Love others. Boom! That’s it!
And here’s something I’ve pulled out of this concept in the last few years. In my work, there is a great emphasis on self-esteem. “Love yourself,” goes the psychobabble wisdom, “And then you’ll be able to love others.”
The thing is, God makes it clear here that we already do love ourselves. It is implicit in the statement. Think about it. If I am to love others the same way I love myself, then I must indeed love myself!
Here’s what I tell people, gently and carefully, The real problem is not lack of self-esteem. It is our frustration that others don’t think as highly of us as we want them to, or at least our perception is that others don’t know or appreciate how terrific we really are!
Again, think about it. If a person is ruminating on how much he hates himself, who is the center of his thinking?
There you go. Satan is crafty, and our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked.
We need to get our eyes, our thoughts, our focus, off of ourselves just for a few minutes, and take a look at the world around us. We already love ourselves. Let’s not worry about that one any more, and think instead about how we can, in Christ, begin to love others the same way we love ourselves.