The second greatest commandment Jesus said is to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of loving your neighbor as yourself? Do you think of being there for a friend or family member, helping an elderly person across the street, or just being kind to all you meet and treating others how you would like to be treated?
Many people think of feeling and showing love like this to others when they think of Jesus’ second greatest commandment loving your neighbor as yourself, but they often overlook a crucial element in this commandment—love yourself. After all, how can you love your neighbor as yourself if you don’t show love toward yourself?
What does this mean to love yourself?
Love yourself and value yourself without condition. Know that you are worthy of being loved and valued simply because you exist. You don’t have to do anything or be anything to be deserving of this love and value. So often we tie our lovableness and worth to how we act, what we accomplish, what we have, what we look like, or even what we can do for others. But those things do not make you any less or more deserving of love. God does not take His love from you because a mistake you made or because of how you look. He loves you simply because you are. You exist therefore he loves you and that’s enough. And to obey Jesus’ second commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must love ourselves in this way too.
So this Sabbath, do something nice for yourself! Take that relaxing bubble bath or walk, drink your favorite tea or coffee or spend time in nature or eat one of your favorite meals; and as you do your activity, just know all you need do is be you to be lovable and loved--valuable and worthy. You are loved! How will you honor God and show yourself this love today?