Real talk: What label would you put on me if I did any (or all) of the following:

  • Often fed my dog a candy bar for dinner
  • Drove dangerously with my babies in the car
  • Made promises to my husband with little regard to whether or not I kept them
  • Told my sister daily that she is ugly and unworthy
  • Constantly reminded my brother that he didn’t deserve good things because he’s stupid
  • Spent my mom’s hard-earned money on spontaneous and unnecessary things
  • Spoiled my dad’s reputation by my sassy lack of self-control

Would you say I was mean? Inconsiderate? Awful? And why would you say that? Because I put others at risk? I didn’t respect their feelings or their property? I failed to show concern for their well-being?

I’d be willing to bet the above does not describe you. Hopefully, it doesn’t depict me either. But what if I take other people out of it and I:

  • Often feed myself a candy bar for dinner
  • Drive dangerously in the car
  • Make promises to myself with little regard to whether or not I keep them
  • Tell myself daily that I am ugly and unworthy
  • Constantly remind myself that I don’t deserve good things because I’m stupid
  • Spend my hard-earned money on spontaneous and unnecessary things
  • Spoil my reputation by my sassy lack of self-control

All of a sudden, this hits closer to home. Am I any less mean or inconsiderate or awful if I am the one I disrespect, disregard and put at risk?

Friends, let’s start being kinder to ourselves. Let’s follow through on our aspirations. Let’s make better choices with our time and money and lets protect the preciousness of our health and wellbeing. Let’s speak constructively to ourselves and build reputations we’re proud of.

We’ve been doing it backwards. If we’re going to truly esteem those around us, we have to value ourselves. Afterall, the way we love ourselves is the standard for how well we love our neighbors. We must pick ourselves up in order to lay ourselves down. We can authentically help others to bloom once we allow ourselves to genuinely flourish.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Galations 5:14

“My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15:12, 13