WHAT DOES THE WORD OF GOD SAY?
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
God is Love! If one of the attributes of God is love, and we were made in his image and likeness, then we also have the nature of God which is LOVE! And if we have the nature of God which is love, then we have to radiate the very nature of love…. (1st Corinthians 13 enumerates the attributes of love)
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
People who have authority command others who don’t. A policeman is able to direct traffic because of the authority he has been given to do so. A mere civilian cannot direct traffic because he hasn’t been given the authority to command such. Even if the civilian attempts such an act, no one will obey such orders.
My point is this, God was able to command His love towards us because His very nature is love! He has it that is how He can give it and command it!
Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than these. (There’s a preceding verse which states you shall love the Lord your God…. which will be discussed in subsequent posts)
Many a times, the meaning we have assumed for this verse is that we must love our neighbours first before we can or should love ourselves. This verse appears to be absurd on the surface and it comes as no surprise that many Christians are repelled and opposed to the issue of self love.
If we are to rephrase the verse, it will read as thus;
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR, THE SAME WAY YOU LOVE YOU.
It can be reasonably inferred from the verse that you take care of yourself and as such do same to others. There’s a principle in law which is the Nemo dat quond non habet. It literally translates that you cannot give to someone something that does not legitimately belong to you. Such that you cannot sell off a property or dispose off a property which you have no legal right or claim to. Similarly, you cannot give others love when you yourself haven’t mastered that art of loving yourself. What will you pour out of an empty teapot?
It is only when you have placed value on yourself that you will be able to place that same value on others. Watch this, most of the time, people who are envious of others have a low self esteem or an inferiority complex. On the other hand, people who genuinely love themselves and have a more happier and joyous lifestyle which translates into their relationship with others.
There is none other commandment greater than love! And these three abound, faith, hope and love.
You can’t have faith in a person or thing you don’t love.
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love
Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
This verse continues to talk about taking other parts of your body off if they will prevent you from entering life…eternal life.
Practically, what this verse teaches us is to have the courage and confidence to walk away from anything, anyone, any situation, that adds no value whatsoever to your life.
Deny yourself certain pleasures, cut certain people and certain toxic relationships off. Love yourself enough to go through a pain so great as maiming your hand or foot or plucking your eye out, in the end you’ll realise it was worth the price.
You can only go through this pruning process if you are honest with yourself, and understand that your life will be better off without certain things and people or even an attitude.
I challenge everyone, search deep within your soul, your hearts and life. Be honest with yourself. Make a list of certain things, behavior and people that prevent you from placing value on yourself and subsequently on others.
Say this prayer after making that list…
LORD JESUS I COME BEFORE YOUR THRONE ROOM TODAY. I ASK OH LORD, THAT YOU GRANT ME THE GRACE TO PRUNE MYSELF. GRANT ME THE WISDOM TO LET GO OF CERTAIN PEOPLE AND RELATIONSHIPS, GRANT ME THE GRACE TO OVERCOME CERTAIN ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR AND FINALLY LET YOUR LOVE FLOW WITHIN MY SOUL ; IN JESUS NAME, AMEN!
to be continued…