Mark 12:31 says, “…Love your neighbor as yourself.” Have you ever wondered how to truly apply this to your life? Well, in order to love your neighbor, you have to learn to love who God created you to be. You are unique. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. You’re the apple of His eye. You are loved. Once you know who you are in Christ, you can learn to love others better. When you are joyful and caring, others will be able to feed off of your life. They will actually want what you have. It starts with you. Yet, the reality is that sometimes life’s hurts, struggles and demands can drown out the above characteristics with self-condemnation, doubt and neglect of taking care of oneself.
So if there is anything in your heart or life that may be hindering or prohibiting you from loving yourself in the right way, carve it out. Get rid of it. Throw it away, and allow God to help you be an overcomer and love yourself the way that He loves you. If you do this, you will soon learn to effectively extend love to others around you.
Go for it! Take care of you and put love in action. We are reminded in 1 John 3:18 that, “…Our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” There you have it! Love is the key.
Love big! And don’t forget the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Think about that for a moment. Meditate on it. Let it marinate in your mind and heart. Ultimately, love makes a world of difference once you activate it.
The truth is that people around you need to see and experience that action word through you. So put on your oxygen mask, as Geri Scazzero says in her book, The Emotionally Healthy Woman. In a nutshell, what she means is simply when a plane is in distress, the flight attendants instruct the passengers to put on their oxygen masks. As a passenger, after you put on your mask, you can then help the person next to you.
It’s the same way with love. If you don’t love yourself first, it will be hard to extend it to someone else. So love yourself, and love others. The world needs it. Do what matters. Love!