Concentrate on Loving Thyself First in Order to Love Thy Neighbor

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Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

~ Matthew 22:36-40, KJV ~

All of us are familiar with the teachings of Christ. His message and hope is built on the eternal principle of Love. In another passage, he is asked who is my neighbor and the Lord gave the parable of the Good Samaritan. And while we are familiar with the parable of the Good Samaritan – we miss the most important message of all. That message is how we come to love and accept ourselves for who we truly are.

Divine and Godly love begins with our trust in God. We learn to Love God before all other things. Through this, we learn to develop love toward ourselves. This is the inner meaning of the second great commandment – to love others as we love ourselves. This begins by coming to terms and understanding who we are as individuals. We are made in the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father (see Genesis 1:26-27). When we see Christ a second time, we shall see him as we are (1 John 3:2).

Our primary condition is to be at peace with the truth that we are children of God.

True faithfulness and righteousness grows when we come to realize the good within us and accept ourselves. Our primary condition is to be at peace with the truth that we are children of God. Without accepting who I am as a child of God I am not able to accept and help others. Any regrets. Any resentments and bitterness I harbor toward others interferes with my ability to do any good unto my neighbor. To love my neighbor means I first must come to love and accept myself. Flaws and all.

Condemning ourselves for mistakes we make is just as bad as our condemnation and criticism toward others for their mistakes. This is the reason for our spiritual discipline of self-examination and reflection. So that we do not stand in judgment toward others while missing the beam that protrudes from our own perception. If we cultivate self-hatred our ability to love others diminish. If we choose to cultivate Godly love toward our own heart, mind, and spirit – we are empowered to love others through Jesus Christ.

Today’s Prayer and Meditation

Heavenly Father, I pray for wisdom and courage to build a better sense of who I am. You created me for a purpose. Fashioned me in thine own image and likeness. When I shall see my Savior, I shall see him as I see myself. Help me build better relationships by focusing on developing love and acceptance of who I am. In Jesus name, Amen

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