20th June 2020

Do YOU love YOU?

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’”
Galatians 5:14 (NKJV)

The vast majority of people in the UK have a good life. We have a home to live in, whether rented or owned, we have enough to eat, clothes to wear and in many cases a car to travel in. Our standard of living far exceeds that of many in the world today. Yet we seem to be living unhappy lives. Mental health problems, depression, a poor self image, a lack of confidence, a life full of worries and a victim mentality are a major media focus. But is life really that bad?

To be crystal clear, if people are suffering from real mental health problems and severe depression they need proper professional help over a period of time. As do people who are suffering with alcoholism, drug abuse or post-traumatic stress. Life’s challenges can overwhelm people for a variety of reasons. So we must accept that there are some people for whom life is tough, a real daily struggle. But the vast majority of people simply don’t face those challenges and yet we have an endless stream of articles and TV programmes about our health, about wellness, about meditation, even exercise classes combined with counselling. It seems most of us are in the category of the ‘worried well’!

But could many of our problems be solved by reminding ourselves of what the bible tells us in the scripture above. We are not asked to love others more than ourselves, but to love others as much as we love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves for some reason then how can we love our neighbour? If you have any doubts about loving yourself, here is a little test for you: look in the mirror. Do you see yourself with all your flaws? Or do you see yourself made in the image of God as you should (Genesis 1:26)? You can’t hate yourself and love others, so stop seeing yourself through your human eyes and remember in whose image you were made. You know God loves you because God is love as we read in 1 John 4.16. Look at verse 12 of the same chapter, “If we love one another, God abides in us, and his love has been perfected in us.”

Loving yourself in the right way is not vanity, not pride, not arrogance but a recognition that God lives in you. How can you not love yourself knowing that?

Prayer
Father, we live in a difficult world focused on the wrong values. Give us a clear vision of who we are and what it means to be loved, unconditionally, by You. Help us to love ourselves as a result and to reflect your love to everyone we meet. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Keith Hartrick
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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: leeds@gracecom.church