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Do you love yourself?…

When Jesus was asked what are the most important rules for life, he declared that everything is summed-up in two maxims: firstly, to ‘love God’; and secondly, to ‘love our neighbours as ourselves’. Often we omit the last two words - Jesus didn’t merely say, love God and neighbour… he said, ‘love our neighbours as ourselves’. As someone once said, ‘if we don’t love ourselves, our neighbours get a raw deal’!

Jesus’ fundamental advice for life is: love. Specifically, love is to be focused in three ways: on God, ourselves and others. In this month where the world focuses on Valentine’s Day, love between couples, and romantic gestures, let me ask again, do you love yourself? If you have a partner, try inserting your names into Jesus’ advice e.g. “Julia, love Paul as you love yourself”. If I want to deepen my love for Paul, I must also deepen my love for me.

This may sound selfish, narcissistic even, but of course that excessive self-centredness isn’t what Jesus means. It’s important and healthy to love ourselves. So, how do we love ourselves? Fundamentally, to love yourself means valuing yourself; making time in our busy lives for those things which help us love and take care of ourselves. For me, loving myself includes ensuring I don’t work too hard, and carving out time to do things which I really enjoy and make me feel alive and energised. 

In this month focused on one facet of love, let’s seek to love ourselves better, enabling us, in turn, also to love others better.

Rev'd Julia

February 2018

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