By LaShanda Jones
“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 31, NASB)
Do you love me?
You may have asked that question or even been asked that question. Whenever the question comes up people are so anxious to either hear or say, “YES.”
To me, it’s amazing how many people see love as intangible, a feeling that is indescribable. The emotions we feel when we become close to someone who makes our hearts ‘pitter patter’ is quite indescribable, indeed, but there’s so much more to love than an irregular heartbeat.
Do you love me?
The question is not will you always be pleased with me. Nor, is it will you always think I’m right. Do you love me is a question of what actions will you take when you are not pleased with me. How will you respond when you think I’m wrong? When you don’t feel like doing something, but I’m relying on you to accomplish something that is important to me, what do you deem as important in that moment?
Love is more about what you do rather than what you feel or think.
I’ve learned to be less concerned with whether or not you love me than I am with showing that I love you. How do I judge how to love you? By loving myself.
I have flaws. There are things I wish were different about me but I have not found the ability to change them. Nevertheless, I love myself. I know that God has counted me worthy of many blessings. I know He hears me when I pray and He answers. I know that He provides for me. I know that He exalts me when I am lowly and treated lowly. When I consider how much God must love me as is evident in what He does for me, I know that I am worthy of love and I love me first.
But love is selfless. So, loving yourself first is not to say, that you esteem yourself higher than others. Quite contrarily, you must show love, by esteeming others as higher than yourself. Loving yourself first simply gives firsthand knowledge of how to show love because you will have felt the same love that you exercise.
Today, I challenge myself to love better. I will love myself better, by being careful what I allow to be spoken into my situations even by my own tongue and I will love others better by being careful to control my tongue and speaking life to others and refraining from speaking words that tear down.