sorry this might be a bit. deep? but idk who to talk to about this. i understand the importance of loving your neighbour as yourself. but what if i don't love myself? i dont know how to do that, and so i don't know how i should be loving my neighbour?
”One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
I understand what you mean. I’ve been there. There are days I still struggle with self love. And the journey to self love is long and hard. As I’ve talked about before, there are days I can’t help but despise myself. I often thought of this questions in the past and here’s what I decided:
Those verses are telling us to treat others with basic decency. They’re telling us to show our love for others through our deeds. To treat others the way we would want to be treated. The people who were asking Jesus questions earlier in this chapter were trying to catch Him off guard. They wanted to prove that he was imperfect and not the Son of God. They were self-righteous and wanted to prove themselves greater than Jesus. Jesus telling them to love others as themselves meant putting others before themselves. It meant humbling themselves.
So how do you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself? Find someone or something that you love the most. How do you treat that person/thing? With gentleness, respect and honor? That is how you should treat your neighbor. If you see your neighbor struggling, do what you can to ease their burden. If you see injustice, stand against it. Serve those around you. Give compliments and mean them. When you see someone, think what Jesus would do. Don’t allow others to abuse and use you, but don’t be afraid to go out of your way to make someone smile. If that means taking a couple extra minutes to truly listen to someone who just needs an ear or helping someone carry something to their car. Think of something that someone has done for you that made you feel extremely happy, cared for, and taken care of.
As for not knowing how to love yourself, look at God’s love for you as an example. Think of the things that He has done for you out of love. God loves you so much that He allowed His son to bear unbelievable pain and embarrassment just to show you how much you matter, how much He loves you, and how much He wants to know you. One of the biggest parts of my healing process has been to take the lies of the world and the lies I’ve told myself and compare them with God’s word. I ask myself why I hate myself.
One of the most popular is “Because I’m insignificant, unimportant, and I always mess up.” Well, in Psalm 139:13-18, David tells me exactly what God thinks of me. And He thinks the same thing about you. God loved you, thought of you, wanted you before you were born. Before anyone else even knew you or knew you would exist.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise youbecause I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Another popular thought I have is “I’m worthless. Imperfect. Stupid.” In Psalm 84, the Psalmist speaks of how he wishes to dwell in the house of the Lord.
“How lovely is your dwelling place,
We’re told in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that WE are God’s temple and that He dwells within US.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Therefore “How lovely is your dwelling place” applies to me and you as well. We are lovely. God could dwell anywhere. He could choose any palace or temple, but he chose US because to Him, we are lovely, wonderful, and oh, so worthy.
Those are just a couple examples. I could give you many, many more. But I hope that is a good start. And I hope that answered your question. I’m sorry for such a long response, but this one hit close to home and I feel I needed the reminder myself.