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There are times in life that come about where you need to step up and love yourself. Apart from perhaps parents, a spouse, or siblings – there’s no one that knows you better than God. There’s also rarely anyone who would be willing to bend over backwards for you in your time of need. We need to focus on the second greatest commandment in context here to derive and apply this core truth diligently. Hopefully we can see if our hearts can stretch towards people when we have the capacity to do so.
A truth that will propel us into understanding that sometimes we have to say “no” to intrinsically good things in order to say “yes” to better things. This bending over backwards has a time and a place, and it certainly isn’t easy to do. So don’t try to save the world, because Jesus Christ already did that. Do what you can without regrets, and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit rather than the whims of the human emotions or even our hearts. (see Jeremiah 17:9).
First of all, time is finite, so we all only have 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. When we get out of our beds, time has already been ticking in those 86,400 seconds, and we already slept through a big chunk of them!
Second of all, when we need attention, there’s a time to love oneself. Of course in our narcissistic nature, we ought to rarely remind ourselves to give ourselves into luxuries or even extended bouts of rest. It’s much easier to adapt to luxuries than for us to crack our own whip, we tend to navigate towards the path of least resistance, so be cautious with this delicate gem of advice.
Yet we should know that most of the things worth doing in life take sacrifice, time, and offer a more challenging path. We want to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to Heaven, not the easier path of less resistance that leads to Hell.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV).
Third of all, in order to love God, we need to surrender everything. Our hearts, bodies, minds, souls, and Spirit; however it doesn’t take away from the second commandment. It magnifies it because when we give to the poor, feed them, and clothe them – it’s as if we were doing that unto God. I have to surrender everything from an insignifant object like a pencil to eternally valuable matters like selecting my potential wife.
17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given.
Proverbs 19:17 (NKJV).
Lastly, we don’t want to busy ourselves so much that we forget that time needs to be redeemed. We need to walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17 (NKJV).
We need to discern what God’s will is consistently, and we can do that through constant prayer, that is to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Only God the Father knows the day and hour that Jesus Christ will return for His Bride, but that should only encourage us to maximize every moment. (Matthew 24:36) That takes distinction, because there will be seasons where we’ll have to say “no” to a lot of potentially good, attractive things with great friends in order to hold out for God’s best.
However, if there’s nobody caring for us, how long should we expect for us to have the health, sound mind, and capacity to step out of our comfort zones to do these things for the glory of God?
That’s when we have to step up to the plate, give it our best shot, and actually take care of ourselves. Hopefully hitting a grand slam on the way around the field. Granted many of us have loving parents, and extended families while still yet others that would trade most of their wealth just to have one trustworthy person who can empathize with them. We have to deal with the hand we’re dealt in life, and trust God has his reasons for putting people in and out of our lives. There are many different seasons we know He has in store, and there’s a purpose for all of them.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:12 (NKJV).
I am ready to love myself and ensure I hold out for God’s best. Then I can be as sure as humanly possible that I will be here to love God and love people for longer instead of burning out on busyness for the sake of being busy in a haphazard manner. I leave you with a K.I.S.S.
Keep It Simple & Smart.