Loving Ourselves Because God Loves Us
Jesus says in Matthew 22:39, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” It is not sinful to love yourself. In fact, we are commanded to respect ourselves and honor ourselves. But sadly, there are those in the world who have low self-esteem. They do not have self-respect or self-honor — feelings that may stem all the way back to their childhood. And there are serious consequences to that, and it even impacts the church because some people do not reach their full potential spiritually because of low self-esteem. But what God says about us is all we need to feel good about ourselves. We must love ourselves because God loves us.
You were created in the image of God: Mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation (Gen. 1:26-28). This changes the way we look at ourselves, and how we look at other people. And, this changes how we look at life. We are to represent God everywhere we go, in everything we do, and in everything we say.
You were bought at a price (I Cor. 7:23): In our world, we determine the value of things by how much they cost. If you were for sale, how much would you cost? But Peter explains in I Pet. 1:18-19 that all the gold and silver in this world could not purchase us; it took the blood of Jesus. Let that sink in. The innocent, perfect, holy Jesus was the price.
God knows you and loves you personally: God is love (I John 4:16), and He expressed it to all mankind as loudly as He could when He gave His Son to die for us. Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20). This should personalize the love of Jesus.
The joy and peace of being forgiven by God: When we are forgiven, there is joy and peace that come with knowing we’re right with God. Our sins are not counted against us. We are acquitted rather than found guilty. There is blessing in knowing our sins have been forgiven (Rom. 4:7-8).
You are chosen, royal, holy and special (I Peter 2:9): As God’s chosen community of people, we are to be different. We must look different, act different, think different and be different. We have been given a purpose to show and tell people what a blessing it is to live this way. We should want the world to see how wonderful it is to be a Christian.
— Steven Matthews