Self: How do we love it?!
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What does it mean to love yourself?
What does it mean to love yourself?
Read Matthew 22:34-40
"You are complicated”
“Your relationship with yourself is complicated”
Conversations on trip we just got home from
Having a conversation about yourself is complicated… we can talk about all sorts of other things and people, but introducing yourself as a subject of conversation can be weird (if you are like me). On the flip side, some people love to talk about theirselves- favorite subject!
To understand these great commandments Jesus gave, we must rightly understand the “as yourself” part
How would you answer to someone wanting to know what that first great commandment means?
If someone was to ask you, “What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself?” what would be your response?
It’d be okay if we said “love your neighbor”
Self is quite a bit more complicated in our minds
Of course, the easy theological answer to loving others as ourselves is “just as you care about yourself and take care of yourself, you should do likewise with others”
Simple right? But who else feels like this gets complicated by the fact that we view ourselves in a rather complicated way?
If it is theological answer, it seems something is missing. Look at the early church in Acts. “They’ll know we are Christians by our Love”
How do we love ourselves?
Although often behind closed doors, we all often struggle with “self”
“Self” is a confusing thing
Vacation story and how self idolatry was a dangerous temptation. It was a great time with my wife, but having all of this great food and drink with staff waiting on you hand and foot...
We struggle with self image
Romans 12:3 … we ought to not think too highly of ourselves
Yet we also don’t hate or neglect ourselves…
we are called to “love our neighbor as ourself”- so if we treat ourselves with hate or negligence, that doesn’t seem quite right to treat others in that way also, does it? *example* *just denying myself, shunning myself, punishing myself* Isn’t that what it means to deny ourselves? Hm?
Some of us think like that
Self value and worth, over reliance upon others opinions about us, sexual identity, status identity, and religious identity (performance)
Chandler: there is a girl who thinks she is a cat. Laps water, hisses at dogs, crawls on all fours. Mentally ill.
Either self idolatry or self hate… not self love.
So even still, be reminded: the Bible says we are called to deny ourselves and follow Jesus
Who feels slightly confused about what it means to love yourself by now?
Lets get to a biblical solution. Lets get to God’s solution for us
better than self help
How we can correct this issue of our perspectives on ourselves is completely contingent, predicated… it completely depends upon how radical we actually realize this verse is.
It isn’t a mere self-help suggestion
It isn’t a mere “Commit yourself to God in action and thought”
It isn’t a mere “change in perspective”
Where’s the power in all that?
Who knows that our commitments often do not actually mean much?
Elle and I can’t even commit to go to the gym
We are talking about being urged, or being hastened
We are talking about becoming a sacrifice given fully to God
We are talking about TRANSFORMATION
What does it mean to sacrifice?
In our life maybe. Animal slaughters in Bible. Abraham and Isaac. Jesus.
The complications of self doesn’t mean sorting them all out- it means throwing yourself and all of its messiness upon God who loves you and cares for you
Sacrifice yourself by the mercy of God
Our lives entirely poured out
Accept the grace of God (Chandler)
Can you see it?? Can you see the Gospel is drawn out and played out in this verse?
You see, we love to think that the Bible is a book all about us and for our benefit
Yet the Bible is about God and His Glory above all else. Keep that in mind.
Do we actually know what it means to believe and know the first commandment?
We need to take a step back and truly hear the heartbeat of God in the first commandment given
Radically God-centered people, not man-centered
Knowing that the central character is not us… that the Bible isn’t aiming to give us a glow up, but give Glory and Honor to God
Read James 1:23-25
Who looks at themselves in a mirror daily? Hourly? LOL
Look at yourself. (Chandler) Really look at yourself. Spiritually. In the light of scripture. Allow yourself the time to look at yourself and evaluate your life
Got an infection/rash on the trip. knee swelled and such. I had to evaluate myself, and physically look at myself, to see that I needed medical help. Something isn’t right.
In this reflection talked about in these Scriptures, we see ourselves in the Word in a full extent. We see our spiritual condition.
Broken mirror, cracked pot *not a crack pot*
We see our actions, our motives, our desires, and our inward condition
Yes, we see that we are a mess
But God in His mercy redeems us
We are crucified, and only Jesus Christ remains
We love God with all of our heart, our soul, and our mind by receiving His love and in turn giving all of ourselves to Him. Sacrificing ourselves! Pour yourself out to Him
Then, and only then, do we understand that we are loved and redeemed through God’s grace. Through the cross
So in loving others, we see them as vessels of mercy as well. Love them because God loves them. Love them with the love and redemptive grace of God. Because you have been marked with the greatest value imaginable- you are loved by the One True King