Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:4–7
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
The Virtues of Loving Yourself
1 Corinthians 13 is the chapter of love. Here God speaks about His kind of love and the description of all the virtues of love as He commands us to love. He does not mean the romantic love that a man and woman have for one another.
He does not mean the family kind of love that a mother has for her child, children have for their parents, or relatives have for one another. He means the God kind of love; the unconditional love towards your fellow man when you say you love your neighbor as yourself.
Loving your neighbor as yourself means you must love yourself because if you do not love yourself you cannot practice love towards your neighbor. You cannot give what you do not have. I pray that you will experience the greatest love of all, the unconditional love for yourself. As you experience it, God will give you the grace to manifest it to others. How do you learn to love yourself?
- Be patient with yourself. The God kind of love is described as long- suffering, which means it is patient. Learning to be patient means you stop putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Eliminate stress by believing that God will make all things beautiful in your life in His time.
- Be kind to yourself. Many of us are too hard on ourselves. Eat well, rest well, reflect and renew your mind with the Word and worship.
- Be not jealous. Some people are never satisfied. They look down on themselves and practice jealousy by comparing themselves with others. They upgrade others and downgrade themselves.
- Do not vaunt or puff yourself up. When you are proud you are perpetually trying to prove a point and you have no peace in your spirit man. Your flesh may love it when you are puffed up but your true self, your spirit man; your heart is stressed and grieved when you are prideful. Love yourself, do not vaunt yourself or be puffed up.
- Do not behave in an unbecoming manner. Be well- mannered and manifest Christian character and decorum.
- The God kind of love does not seek its own. Be selfless; serve other people. Doing so will restore peace to your soul. Be kind to yourself and reach out to other people because it pleases the Lord and He will reward you.
- Be not easily provoked. In your patience, possess your soul. When you are provoked you lose virtue, which is the essence of your life. When you are provoked you lose spiritual anointing, which is why you feel empty after an angry outburst. If you consider most things small stuff, you will not allow yourself to be provoked easily.
- Think no evil. When you think evil thoughts you are inviting sickness into your life. When an evil thought comes your way, let that thought perish. Love yourself enough not to enjoy iniquity. Even when a little evil feels good and other people are doing it, do not rejoice in it. You manifest hatred towards yourself when you rejoice in iniquity. Rejoice therefore in truth, which refreshes and brings life into your spirit man.
- Bear all things. Consider it all temporary. When you believe the Word of God is true and that it is a letter to you from your God, believe all things, especially the Word, and you will discover that life is a lot better. Hope all things through the Word, for the Word of God will give you a lively hope. Endure all things; victors learn endurance to win prizes.
Pray in the name of Jesus that by the grace of God you will analyze yourself and ask, “Do I love myself? Am I patient with myself? Am I kind to myself? Am I puffed up? Do I behave unseemly? Am I selfish? Am I easily provoked? Do I think evil? Do I rejoice in iniquity or do I rejoice in the truth? Do I bear all things and consider them all passing? Do I believe the Word of God? Do I endure all things? I pray that you will live a victorious life even as you learn to love yourself, in the name of Jesus.
If you have never given your life to Jesus and do not have God’s Spirit in you, you cannot be someone who practices agape love. Pray with me now, “Dear Lord Jesus, I surrender my life to you and ask you to write my name in thebook of life. Give me the born-again experience. Give me the grace to love myself so that I will be able to love my neighbor as myself.” Blessed be God.