In the book of Matthew, Jesus was having a discussion with the Scribes about the greatest commandment. Well – Jesus was not actually having a conversation. The Scribes (who had authority to draft legal documents such as marriage agreements, sale of land, etc. and known to be well versed in the scripture) sought to test Jesus after he had put the Pharisees in their place regarding the subject of paying taxes and then the Sadducees about the resurrection (who say there is no resurrection). Jesus put all these social movements in place, according to the word , which they claimed to have a great comprehension.
The Scribes proposed the question about the greatest commandment. Jesus responded about how deep our love for God should be. Our Love for God should trump EVERYTHING!
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38 (NKJV)
The capacity to love others is based upon how much you love yourself. The Bible is all about self-care:
- You repent.
- You cleanse your hands
- You draw near to God and then He will come to you.
- You cast your cares on Him.
- You separate yourself.
- You forgive others so you can be forgiven.
- You overcome evil with good.
The ability to see the love of God, through Jesus Christ, and all that has been sacrificed for us, is based upon our capacity to recognize our need and interdependence on God. Once we recognize that an abundant life filled with peace, deliverance, and love is an option, the question then becomes if we love ourselves enough to desire the best for ourselves and anything connected to us.
It is easy to say: “I love me.” If you love you, the opinions of others and their inability to love themselves will have less impact on you. You will love them through their faults because you understand what it means to say that you love you, but your behavior implies that you are unhappy with yourself.
Love yourself. Value yourself. Once you do that, you’ll be able to do the same for others – as God commands.
And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39 (NKJV)
Affirmation: “I will value myself to show value to myself as I value others.”