2nd Biblical Truth: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

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In this article, let’s take a look at the 2nd biblical truth – how God commands you (like a wise parent who knows what’s best for you) to take care of yourself and your body.  You’ll understand how running on empty REALLY serves yourself and others, as well as evaluate your current recharging practices-or lack there of, and what running on fully charged batteries can do for yourself and others.  

This is the 2nd of 3 Biblical Truths in The Freedom Through Faith Framework that help shift your mindset and empower you to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Here are all 3 in a nutshell:

  1. God is #1 – The 1st & Greatest Commandment
  2. Love Your Neighbor as Yourself – The 2nd Greatest Commandment
  3. You Are a Temple of God’s Holy Spirit

Since the 2nd greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39), it makes sense that you need to understand what that all entails and take steps to adopt it as the 2nd Biblical Truth.  

The 2nd Greatest Commandment

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  You’ve heard this bible verse but have you ever thought about the phrase “As yourself.”

That means we have to love ourselves well before we can truly serve others well. 

Yet, do you, like most people, really love yourself and your body like God loves you?  With that unconditional, all encompassing love you desperately desire & deserve for yourself and others? 

If you’re like most people I know, you feel compelled to love to others, but restrict it for yourself thinking self-love is selfish.

Running On Empty

It’s time to kick the lie that self-love is selfish to the curb.  Yes, our culture prizes do, do, do, keeping you busy running around, never stopping, never resting, never recharging.

The truth is, it’s really hard to keep giving to your family, work, community, and other commitments if you yourself are drained. 

How can you possibly be a blessing to people or causes if you lack energy, patience and enthusiasm? All things you want to bless others and organizations with.

You know how irritable, frazzled, distracted, frustrated, overwhelmed, ‘close enough,’ and drained you feel when you don’t move your body, fuel it with food that is less than good for you, and aren’t frequently inviting God in to infuse his peace and love into your life. 

While you may ‘know’ this to be true in your head, it’s time to start believing this in your heart so you can start making some changes.

Recharging

Do you do some recharging every day?  Or are you like most people and wait until you’re so depleted you become exhausted or get sick, taking forever to get back on your feet again? (Hem, hem…I know I’ve been guilty!)

Do you choose foods & beverages that nourish your body like real whole food & water?  Or things that deplete you further, like sugary, ultra processed foods, caffeine or alcohol?

Do you have boundaries in place to make sure your batteries get charged?  Or do you let other things creep in & and eat up that time?

How much more happy, active & productive are you when you feel connected to God, eat foods that fuel your body (not your fears), move your body, sleep well and guard these practices-honoring the body God blessed you with? 

We can’t love & care for others well, if we don’t love and care for ourselves first. 

You can’t give something if you don’t have something to share.    

Simple ways to Love Yourself

I’ve talked about Positive Affirmations before. Those little prescriptions you give yourself, announcing the truth of who you are and what you want to do.  A simple one to adopt healthy self-love is “In the name of Jesus Christ, I believe and I declare I love myself and my body as a beloved child of God.”  

Another way is to book end the day in prayer.  You can do this by taking just a few moments to connect with God first thing in the morning and right before you go to sleep.  I’m also a fan of enjoying a few moments here & there to give thanks to our Lord for yourself and your body throughout the day.

Pause for a moment to think about what your body needs to recharge.  Is it more real, whole food?  Water?  Or is it less screen time?  More movement?  More time to sleep?   Maybe it’s just 1 less soda/pop/coke a day.  Or setting a timer so you get up, stretch and go to the bathroom every hour during the day.  Or could it be buying a good pair of shoes so you can go for that walk without your feet hurting? 

Another powerful practice is to thank God for the miracle you and your body are.  I think this quote from St. Augustine sums it up quite well.  

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet, they pass by themselves without wondering.  
St. Augustine of Hippo

Thoughts to Ponder or Journal About:

I’ve given you a lot of food for thought.  Now it’s time to narrow it down & choose something to experiment with.  Be sure to ask God what he’s calling you to do as you take a few moments to journal about, jot down or sketch out your thoughts.    

    • Take a moment to picture that vision of your best healthiest self.

    • List all the ways you recharge, (pray, eat, move, sleep, relax, disconnect from worldly demands)

    • Now list or journal about different ways you’d like to recharge.  They may be the same or different from what you already do.  

    • Don’t censor yourself or discount it.  Just create your lists. 

    • Then journal about how you’d feel if you felt fully charged every day.  Refreshed & ready to do what God is calling you to do.  How does loving yourself and your body allow you to feel refreshed & recharged?  

    • Take a look at your lists & choose something to experiment with.  What’s one thing that lights you up when you think about doing it?  Something you can’t wait to do?  Something you’ll look forward to?  

    • Write down what it is & how you’re going to make it happen.  

Be sure to share your thoughts, insights, experiences in the comments below and start enjoying the journey!

Free 21 Day Advent Calendar: Journey to Jesus

Speaking of taking some time to refresh & recharge, Advent is just around the corner! Do you feel like you never have enough time during Advent to really slow down & tune in to God to prepare your heart for Christmas? Join us on Julie’s Free Journey to Jesus Advent Calendar with 21 days of short (5-7 minute) scripture-based guided meditations this Advent.

In less than 15 minutes a day you can quiet your body, mind & spirit and allow God to joyfully prepare your heart & light your way to Jesus.

Click on the link below to learn more & sign up!

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