Last week, we began our exploration of self-love, the kind of non-negotiable love we must have for ourselves (and other people). If we care for ourselves as God intends, we can then care for others. But why should we do this? Why should we be bothered?
We cannot love others with the love of Christ if we are unhealthy emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, or physically. I’m not talking about sporadic unhealthiness, which does occasionally happen outside of our control. I’m talking about managing our bodies, mind, spirit, finances, and relationships as God desires so that we’ve done all we can to be obedient and healthy and movable.
We also understand from last week that Jesus has commanded us to love others as we love ourselves. It’s not up for argument—this is what He requires. We who call ourselves Christian have no right to abuse our God-given body, mind, spirit, relationships, or finances. There are many good reasons besides obedience to be healthy, to love ourselves in these areas.
God wants us to partner with Him in His ministry of reconciling creation. However, he cannot do that if we are unmovable—if we’re distracted with chaotic relationships, mishandled finances, a lack of spiritual training, or self-imposed physical deterioration. Once we’re movable because we love ourselves as God intends, then we can set an excellent example as a witness for the Kingdom of God.
Christians are on display. Our lives are no longer ours, but the Father and Son’s. Therefore, we must present an excellent example of self-love and love for others so that those who have not met God can. As you can imagine, a lousy witness through selfish behavior and purposeful unhealthiness will keep people from experiencing God’s Kingdom. Who wants to be responsible for that?!?
In summary, being Christian, a ‘little Christ,’ carries the responsibility of remaining healthy in body, mind, spirit, etc. to the best of our ability in obedience to the Father and Son so that we can honor them and help in bringing the Kingdom of God to others. What about next week? In the last part of this three-part series, we’ll dive deeper into the ‘how’ as we continue seeking to mimic the love of Christ.
Blessings and peace,