To Love Your Neighbor is to Love Yourself

On a plane, you are told that in case of an emergency, always put your mask on first before assisting someone else. Because, how can you help someone else breathe when you don't even have breath?

I work as a nanny, and I get the cool opportunity to travel with a little one and his family. While holding him on a plane recently, the reality of what I just mentioned hit me. Even though everything inside of me would want to help him out first, if something was to go wrong, it was imperative that I’d help myself first. Ugh! That truth hurts so bad.

Far too often, I put others before myself. It just makes me feel better to know that everyone else is taking care of. I figure I can just squeeze myself somewhere into my busy schedule. Then I burn out. I pour all that I have into the people around me, and in return, am left empty. And what good is an empty well? I have to remind myself that its okay to be selfish sometimes. That if I’m gonna be any good to other’s I’ve got to be good to myself first. Not only do I need to bee good to myself, but I need to allow Him to be good to me. 

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” | Mark 12:31

This verse can sometimes be used just a little too much. Okay not too much, but maybe out of context. You see, love your neighbor means more than being nice to the people around you. Love your neighbor means to love yourself. 

It’s kind of like the old saying, “Treat others the way you want to be treated." How can you fully love someone, if you haven't taken the time to fully love yourself, or more importantly, to allow yourself to be fully loved? This is SO important, especially for leaders. We have to be constantly fueling ourselves to be able to pour into others.

Every now and then I get caught up in life, and the Lord throws me this question.
"How's your heart?" 
Ummm... beating?
This calls for a heart check!

I am learning to love myself, and to allow myself to be loved. When those heart check moments arise, I realize I need to sit back, relax, and soak in the goodness of Jesus.

Love yourself my friend, and more importantly, allow yourself to be loved. Submerge yourself in His grace, and lose yourself in His presence. Take that same fierceness you have for the hearts’ of others, others, and  pursue His heart. Remain in Him, and Him in you. 

As much as the Lord wants you to go out and love on people, He wants to love on you. Dive into His word, worship at His feet. Sit with the Lord, and allow His love to pour over you. 

Love your neighbor, and love yourself. 

"This is my comfort, my consolation, and my breath of fresh air in the midst of my depression and loss. Your Word nourishes and repairs, it revives my life and your promises restore me and make me whole.”  | Psalm 119:50