It is not easy to follow God’s command to love ourselves. We are not talking about bragging. We are talking about loving ourselves because of who we are: people created by God.
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall 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, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31.
There are two great commandments! And one of them involves loving ourselves.
Loving and valuing yourself, “warts and all,” allows you to recognize your gifts and skills and offer them to the community. God’s loving will for us is that we love ourselves and acknowledge our gifts—not for the increase of our own personal prestige, but for the benefit of all.
This message was adapted from the “Called to Love as God Loves—Unconditionally” resource written by Beckie Steele and available from the Women of the ELCA website.