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Seeds of the Kingdom

Loving Ourselves

by Margaret Southey

Love your neighbour as yourself.
Matthew 9:19, NIV

In John 15:12 Jesus commands us to love one another with the love that He has for us, but in Matthew 9:19 He says part of the commandments is ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. Putting it all together I believe He means we are to love ourselves as He loves us. All this seems quite a tall order. How does it work?

God’s plan is that each one of us should know that we’re loved immeasurably and accepted unconditionally. This love and acceptance should be part of our life experience right from the day of conception. It’s our parents who should first show us God’s love through their own love for us. Later we should experience this same love through others who take care of and teach us. However, as we know, God’s plan for His children to experience His infinite love was damaged at the fall. The result is that many of us don’t experience love, and those who do, don’t experience the fullness of it.

If we don’t know how much Jesus loves us, then we won’t be able to love ourselves as He loves us. Furthermore we won’t be able to love others the same way.

Scripture never gives us instructions that are impossible to fulfill. We also know that what happened at the fall was not the end of the story. Jesus came to reconcile us to God our Father and to make possible all that God ordains. That includes the experience of His love.

If we find ourselves in the place of not knowing love we can come before our heavenly Father with our empty hearts and ask him to fill them with His love. He will. God always hears our heart-felt cries for His love, presence and touch. He may do it in His way and time rather than in ours but He will do it. When we have the love of God in our hearts it’s then possible to share it with others. It will come naturally.

Prayer: Father God, You know my life’s circumstances and that I haven’t received the love that You meant me to have. I want so much to be loved. Would You show me my worth through Your eyes and would You give me Your love. May I experience the fullness of it. I want so much of it that I can freely pass it on to my brothers and sisters, knowing that I won’t lose any for myself. I accept that experiencing Your love is not a one minute event. I’m prepared to grow in it at Your pace and in Your way. Amen.

Margaret Southey is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has had a career in education. Her passion is to understand the truth of God’s Word and to share it with others. She is part of the ministry and teaching team of Ellel, Africa.


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