Loving God is loving yourself

Gods love, self love
Gods love, self love

It’s all about love – we’re either in love, dreaming about love, recovering from broken love, wishing for love, or reflecting on love. But what is love?

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 says, ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’

The Bible says that, ‘God is love’. Not that He has love, but that He is the very definition of love itself. This tells me that in order for me to love, I need God. If God is love, then in order for me to love anyone, I’ve got to have God. I don’t expect a person who does not love God to be able to properly love me.

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They say that the greatest love of all, is to love yourself. But let me put it to you this way – there is no greater love other than the love of God; not even self-love. It’s very important to love yourself, but even that love has to come from God, or it’s a mere form of self-obsession or arrogance. I often say that, ‘Loving God, leads to loving self. Loving self, leads to loving others. Loving others, leads to loving life.’ It’s in that order that we’re able to accurately express and receive true love. A love that is without motive or agenda, but genuine in nature. And those that God places in your life are most deserving of it. God said, ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’  It starts with me loving myself in God, and extending that love to others. How can you love me, if you don’t even love yourself? So many of the tears we cry come from expecting something from someone who doesn’t have it to give in the first place. 

You give the best of you to those who barely know you, and keep the scraps for the ones who truly love you. We’re so good at being good to strangers, being polite to co-workers, being there for ‘outsiders’, often at the neglect of those in our own homes whom God has connected us to. We fail to realise that we are accountable to Him for how we treat those He gave us to love and cherish.

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A partner may say, ‘My spouse knows that I love them because I married them.’ But, your actions have to match or surpass your words because after ‘I do’ comes ‘I still do. I still love you. I still choose you. In fact I’d choose you again if I had to. If you had a twin I’d still pick you.’ We all need the kind of love that feels like a good ‘90s RnB song. That when he says, ‘I love you’, she says, ‘I know, I love you, too.’ There’s no guessing, no wonderin and no questioning. Because we all deserve a love we don’t have to question. A partner we don’t have to keep giving second chances to because we’re being loyal to betrayal. Someone who makes us forget our heart was ever broken, and speaks to us in our own love language – be it gifts or quality time, because some want the diamond watch while others value the time, acts of service, words of affirmation, or physical touch. A love that makes you feel loved. A love so pure it’s an expression of God’s love toward us – mutual, reciprocal, and enjoyable.

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Receiving is just as important as giving. You, too, are worthy of love. So while you generously disperse your love to all those around you, please remember to give some of it back to you too. This Valentine’s, let’s spread more love. Not just to everybody, but also to you. Remember, God is love. Be blessed... Always, P

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