Free To Love

by Julie

“Jesus says that the law was fulfilled in two things. : ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31

We all know that loving God and loving others is important but more than that, it’s foundational in our faith. Jesus loved this way. He was so in love with the Father, He knew who He was as a Son and He loved every person He met.

We are to love God with everything we are. We love God not just with everything, but in everything. In every circumstance, every high and every low, we just love Him. We seek to spend time with Him. We desire to worship Him every chance we get. We talk to Him and tell Him about our lives. We trust Him and keep our thoughts around Him. We are to love our neighbor modeling Jesus and the way He loved. We serve the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and give to the needy. We are just simply lovers of people and change the world around us.

More often than not we feel like we have this down. We are can say that we love God and that we love people. Unfortunately there is something that we often miss. You know, that part about loving ourselves. It’s in the book so we can’t ignore it. If we have are hard time loving ourselves, the love that our neighbor will receive from us may be a bit weak.

When I was a teenager my loving mother used to have me stand in front of the mirror, look into my own eyes and say out loud that I loved myself. I was so upset when she made me do that but she did it for a good reason. She saw my value and my worth. She loved me with an unconditional love that she wanted me to see and experience. Jesus came to give us abundant life. He has come so we may have true relationship with God and to set us free from all of our sin and shame. By His great love and sacrifice He has set us free to be children of God. This is what God desires for us. His desire is that we would see beyond our imperfections, our sin, our past, and see the treasure that He created. He wants us to experience His love.

When we love God we begin to receive love from Him. When we know how loved we are we have the freedom to partner with God and begin to love ourselves. As this happens God will show us more of His heart and love for God and love for our neighbor will begin to overflow.