The second commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31. When we hear this verse, we usually concentrate on the part that says, love your neighbor, but we often forget that it also says, as yourself. What does this as yourself means? It means that you must love your neighbor as you love yourself. It implies that you already love yourself. It is where I want to focus because this part is often overlooked when analyzing the verse.
We must understand that to give love, we should start within ourselves. If we want to share kindness, compassion, and love with others, we must apply those things to ourselves. We cannot give what we do not have. You cannot love someone if you hate or despise yourself. By nature, we tend to be very judgmental of ourselves. We are our worse critics. Sometimes we even discard ourselves. Sadly, we do not see ourselves as God sees us and fill our hearts with derogatory remarks about ourselves. But what can we do to change this?
We can start by seeing ourselves as God sees us. He sees us as complete and redeemed.
1. He sees us as a new creation- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17.
2. He sees us righteous- “And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:2.
3. He sees us as light- “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14.
4. He sees us as the salt of the Earth- “You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13.
5. He sees us as victorious- "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57.
6. He sees us as His co-heir- “Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed we share in His sufferings, so that we may also share with His glory.” Romans 8:17.
7. He designed us for good deeds- “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10.
8. He sees us as a holy nation- “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9.
And better yet, He loved us first, and He chose us. We must keep all these in mind whenever we are inclined to think less of ourselves. We need to start loving ourselves to share that love with others. This week I encourage you to practice self-love and fill yourself with God's love. Let's start seeing ourselves as He sees us.