Updated: Apr 5, 2022
LOVE…there are so many definitions given for love…a strong feeling of deep affection, an intense feeling of great interest, one of the emotions we feel, etc. Love is also a decision; it is a choice that can be made even when we do not feel the strong feelings of deep affection or of great interest.
Love never gives up. It cares more for others than for self. It doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. It doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first”, doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the wrongs of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8
So often when we think about love, we immediately think of others. When is the last time you have evaluated your love for yourself? Loving yourself is important and often is the fountain from which your love for others flows. If you are anything like me, when I did not have a healthy love for myself, I often looked for and accepted what would be defined as false representations of love for me by others.
Loving ourselves can also be displayed by what is described in the passage I shared. If you love yourself, don’t give up on yourself. If you love yourself, don’t keep record of your wrongs. Learn from them and grow from them but don’t beat yourself up over them.
Forgiveness is for you too. Look for the best in yourself, don’t look back at who you were and continue to look at yourself in that rearview mirror. Give yourself grace. Keep going. Learn how to love yourself, practice loving yourself, and then continue loving yourself. All of your other relationships will then be impacted by this love.
Until then, we tend to push away the healthy love of others towards us, feeling as though we are somehow unworthy of being loved. That is when we allow those who do not truly love us to have access to our lives because we feel as though that is all that we are worthy of.
If we learn to love ourselves, we will understand our worth and will be able to choose more wisely who we allow to be connected to our lives. When we love ourselves, we are able to flow in love towards others. We can then walk out that passage in a healthy way for ourselves and for others.
Faith, hope, and love….the greatest of these is LOVE.