Loving Ourselves for His Sake
"...You shall love your neighbor as yourself." - Jesus
We may not feel it or maybe even believe it, but we have indescribable worth to Jesus. When we truly begin to view ourselves through the lens of the revelation of Jesus, His cross and our great worth to Him, we will begin to love ourselves in God's love and for God's sake.
The bible interestingly calls us as believers to both to love ourselves (Matthew 22:39) and to hate our lives (Luke 14:26). This sounds like an oxymoron but it can be boiled down to us loving who we are in Christ (our new identity in Christ as what we do in God's will) and hating our lives (who we are outside of Christ and what we do outside of God's will).
Bernard of Clairvaux called it loving ourselves for His sake--being jealous to be all that He called us to be, for His sake. We magnify Jesus as we love ourselves in agreement with His love for us and honor His "investment" in us.
Minimizing how much He enjoys loving us and His desire for us to enjoy being loved by Him is false humility.
In the grace of God, Jesus delights in who we are. He wants us to love the person that He loves. He wants us to enjoy how much He enjoys us--to delight in how He delights in us.
So go ahead and ask the Holy Spirit how He feels about you. Take heart in the fact that you are loved by God. He values you. He actually likes you and delights in you! May this truth give you strength to fight the good fight and run the race set before you today. And may this truth give us vision to truly love our neighbors as ourselves.