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It has been said that people treat others as they see themselves. Hurting people hurt people, discouraged people discourage people, and those who hate themselves will hate others. Many times the way that we treat others says more about how we feel about ourselves than the way we do about them. Jesus said, “We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.” We notice from this scripture that my love for others is based on my love for myself. In fact, this is so powerful that by loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves we fulfill the Commandments. The Bible says that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. God‘s gift of His Son was motivated by His love for the world. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this then he lay down his life for his friends.” There is nothing I can do to make God love me more, there is nothing I can do to make him love me less, because I did nothing to make him love me in the first place. When one talks about loving themselves it is through the mirror of God’s word. God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
I’ve heard it said all my life that God only helps those that help themselves. This phrase sounds like it has a lot of wisdom in it but the Bible says otherwise. Jesus died for those who were powerless to help themselves. A drowning man does not need lessons on how to swim. He needs a life preserver. Jesus is that life preserver. I no longer see myself based on my past, what I have or have not done. Instead, I see myself in the great prism of Jesus’ love for me and it transforms my thinking. When I am hurt, He is my healing. When I’m lost and cannot find the way, He is my Shepherd. When I am stumbling in the dark, He is the bright and morning star. When I am hungry, He is the bread of life. When I’m going through the valleys of life, He is the lily of the valley. The point I’m trying to make is that He can transform the way we see ourselves, and the way we see ourselves, is the way we treat others. The Bible is my birth certificate. Hope runs in my family, joy runs in my family, peace runs in my family, forgiveness runs in my family. My Heavenly Father has it, my older brother Jesus has it, and it’s communicated to my heart by the Holy Spirit. Accept the love the Father gives you, and give that love to others. Freely you have received, freely give.