... a weekly letter of encouragement.
THE FAX OF LIFE June 13, 1994
QUESTION: IS IT OK FOR YOU TO LOVE YOURSELF?
Well, that depends on what you mean.
On the one hand, Christ calls us to relinquish ourselves:
"If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give all right to himself...For the man who wants to save his life will lose it, but the man who loses his life for my sake will save it." (Luke 9:23, 24 --Phillips Translation)
On the other hand He tells us to "love our neighbor as ourselves". (Matthew 22:39)
Which is correct? Well...Both:
Scriptures clearly remind us that we do in fact love ourselves, but then goes on to instruct us to balance out that love of self with love for others:
"Husbands ought...to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife, loves himself...no one ever hated his own body but nourishes and cherishes it." (Ephesian 5:28, 29 - NAS & Phillips Translations)
"None of you should think only of his own affairs, but practice looking out for the interests of others too...Greater love has no man than this that one lay down his life for his friends." (Philippians 2:4 Phillips and Williams; John 15:13)
How do you know when you have crossed over the line into selfishness?
When you do not love your neighbors as yourself.
When you are so absorbed with yourself that you no longer have regard for others.
Perhaps the balance between loving our selves and loving others is simply this: All of God's creation is precious in His eyes - including you and your neighbors. As a recipient of His unconditional love, it naturally falls that you will respond in kind by willingly and sacrificially passing His love on to others. As did Jesus.
Have a great week!
© Copyright 1996 Dwight Hill. Unlimited permission to copy or use is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
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