The command in Matt. 22: 39 to love others as ourselves, means that it's okay to love ourselves. The love commanded, of course, must be talking about a supernatural love. That's because the natural love we have for ourselves smacks of or is usually full of worldly pride.
Worldly pride is a negative self-love that focuses on our intereststhe likes and dislikes we have about ourselves. We relish the likes and seek to change the dislikes. We want to change those dislikes because they get in the way of us being able to totally love ourselvesin a subconscious, selfish way, of course.
So a lot of attention and concern is given to the dislikes. But with that much preoccupation, time ministering to others is shortened. And on top of that, when the changes don't come fast enough or at all, self-hatred even sometimes occur. Certainly, under those circumstances, it would be mighty hard to love someone else when there isn't even tainted love for self.
Another facet of natural self-love is self-adulation. This is seeking to be commended by others and/or by ourselves. Feeling superior to others is really the goal. In cases like that, ministering to others is nothing more than condescension.
So obviously, in order to genuinely love our neighbors, possessing a supernatural love is called for. And that begins with faith. We must believe that our true identity is that of a son and daughter of the Most High King; that God sees us as He sees Jesus. Understanding that there are things in us that are not right, but that God still loves us, shouts that it's okay to love ourselves in Christ Jesus.
Then there has to be faith in Jesus that He, through the Holy Spirit, will teach us how to love our neighbors by ministering to their interests. We must be willing to be teachable and obedient to what Jesus tells us. We'll want to do this because of the desire to be like Him.
That means that the proper way to love is to walk in God's selflessness and guidance. It's the way that the heart is filled with the supernatural, agape love called for in "love your neighbor as yourself."
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