One thing I have learned over the past ten year of getting time with Jesus each day is how to love myself. Jesus tells us in Mark 12:30 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Loving ourselves is an overlooked aspect of this text, but it is a vital understanding in order to have any hopes of carrying out Jesus’ command. My journey of learning to love myself required me to go back before I could move forward. One man said it well, “In order to heal pain, we must access pain.” We have to be willing to go back in order to carrying out Jesus’ lofty commandment.
Christian counseling was my first step in the process of learning to love myself. I had to get over the stigma that counseling shows weakness, and be willing to go and get some help. Through the help of my counselor I was able to go back to difficult moments in my past, invite Jesus into those places and allow Him to heal my heart. The result: believing what God says about me instead of the lies that the Evil One had been telling me for many years.
As the Lord began to heal my heart, I was able to start loving others as I had learned to love myself, seeing them for who God created them to be. This way of thinking is a conscious decision with each person that I encounter. I can easily choose to believe the lies about someone else, but as I am willing to take a second glance, I am able to see the person in front of me as God sees them. This way of thinking has changed my outlook of people and allows me to be the kind of friend to others that Jesus commands me to be.