Text: Mark 12: 30-31: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”
Do you love yourself? As we read these verses we understand what Jesus’ prerogative is in teaching these commandments: love. This should set the course for our lives. First, loving God above all and everyone, and second, loving our neighbor as ourselves. The problem with this second commandment is in the difficulty that we have to fulfill it as it is taught.
Many times we fail to love our neighbor because we have not yet learned to love ourselves in a balanced way. On the one hand, there are those who sin because of a lack of love: they do not value or care for themselves, they do not respect their limits, they are negligent, careless, they despise themselves, they have low self-esteem, etc. At the other extreme are those who love each other too much: they are selfish, they consider themselves superior, they don’t care about others, they are haughty, self-absorbed, individualistic, independent, etc.
The way you see yourself will be decisive in the way you will see others. When we love Jesus above all else, he gives us the ability to change the way we see ourselves and others.
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Learn to love yourself with the help of God:
- Pray and ask the Lord to show you if you are inclined to one of the two sides: little love or in excess. Meditate and ask him to help you have a balanced view of it.
- We have a model: Jesus! We need to become more like him by recognizing in him the pattern of our real worth.
- Learn more about God through reading and studying the Bible. Seeks to reach the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
- It is important that you know yourself. Take time to think, reflect, evaluate yourself, admire yourself, correct yourself, motivate yourself … Anyway, build yourself up.
- Know your neighbor: if we stay isolated from the other we will never know him enough to love him in practice. Get out of your world, know other realities, and share the love of God.
- We are worthy of care and value. We are all precious in the eyes of God. Pamper yourself from time to time and do the same with others.
- Develop true humility and altruism: for love, consider others as valuable and even superior to yourself.
- It seeks to develop healthy and stable relationships.
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Lord my God, you are loved… Thank you for loving us and teaching us to love. Forgive me if I have not loved other people or myself in the right way. Help me to love you above all things. Only in this way will I get to love my neighbor as myself. Teach me with your Word to have a balanced vision on this so as not to sin due to excess or lack of love. Amen.