Tuesday: The Responsibility to One’s Self

Jesus tells us very clearly that “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:39).

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

A very interesting text in light of the idea that we often look at love for self as the height of all that is opposed both to Christianity and to the idea of disinterested selflessness. What did Jesus mean by this text? How do we interpret, and apply it, in a way that reflects what true Christianity should be about?

Love of self, in the Christian sense, isn’t selfishness, it isn’t putting yourself first before everyone and anything else. On the contrary, love for self means that realizing your own worth before God, you seek to live the best possible life, knowing that the results of such a life will be a benefit not just to yourself (which is fine) but also, and even more important, to those with whom you come in contact.

How would you relate Jesus’ admonition above to the following texts?

Phil. 2:58

2 Cor. 5:14-15

1 Cor. 10:31-33

1 Pet. 1:13-16

The Redemption that the sinner obtains in Christ brings about such unity with Him (Gal. 2:20that the Christian desires to live a life that is ordered after Christ’s impulses. The sinner desires to have Christ’s mind, to live no longer for one’s self but for Him, and to heed the call to holiness (separation from such things as our passions, the sinful trends in culture, and moral impurity). If you love yourself, you want what’s best for yourself, and what’s best for yourself is a life that is committed to God, a life that reflects the character and love of God, a life that is lived not for self but for the good of others. The surest way to guarantee yourself a miserable existence is to live only for self, never thinking of the good of others.

Dwell more on what it means to love yourself in the Christian sense. How easy is it for this kind of love to degenerate into a self-destructive self-centeredness? What’s the only way to protect yourself from that trap?



Tuesday: The Responsibility to One’s Self — 10 Comments

  1. We as Christians are so judgmental of each other, this has been the case for generations....how do we then begin to encourage others to move away from that level of condemnation to loving others as ourselves?

  2. The Lord God requires the best for us but we do not LOVE ourselves because we sometimes do or perform things that wil take us to destruction.The ones that are gonner be destroyed are the people that do break the devine law of GOD, thus bringing the self love to so important as wel as for others

  3. If a Christian really love God,and heed the commandments of God, you will find yourself doing the will of God ,more than to be judgmental against each other.We have read the word of God each day, and as Christians it is now time for us to let God shine through us by loving each other as God would want us to do.

  4. The only way we can be less judgmental of each other is to focus on Jesus Christ who defines what ultimate loving is all about.

  5. Christina, maybe we can become less judgmental of other Christians when we spend more time comparing ourselves to Jesus' righteousness.

  6. About me I think, to love yourself in the Christian sense, it means that don't loved yourself more than each others. it's a commandment of God. and addition to if you want something well for you, you supposed also want the same for others.

  7. Responsibility for Oneself is right in the context of not wanting to show off to others.Of course there is nothing wrong to take of yourselve, these bodies are temples of God and need to be well nourished physically and spirituall.
    Now where the problem arises is when we become selfish. Wanting everything for ourselves. As much as we become responsible our own needs, lets us like wise think of the needs of others. This is what chritian religion ia all about.
    We have dual calling, first to be saved and then to save other.This kind of Love should be able to permeate across chritian circle. Whatever we deem good for ourselves, the same to be deemed to any other being created in the image of God.Moreove in the book of Acts we are told that all nations come from one blood.
    Most importantly, let us focus on the righteousness of Christ.

  8. Neighborly Love of the Compassionate Samaritan

    The principle of loving your neighbor as yourself occurs also in the introduction to the parable of the compassionate Samaritan (Lk 10:27). The key-question is: "Which of these three do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" (Vs. 36) The answer: "The one who showed mercy on him." (Vs 37) The neighbor is the Samaritan himself. He has become a neighbor to the unfortunate one by fully identifying himself with him. The bleeding wounds of that stranger were his own bleeding wounds; the pain of that man was his own pain; the suffering of that half-dead beaten foreigner was his own suffering. The Samaritan had so fully identified himself with that victim, that he himself was bleeding, suffering, was fallen under the robbers, as Christ says: "I was hungry and you gave me food....." (Mt 25:35)

    "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," means to indentify yourself with the suffering ones, treating them as if you yourself were in that plight. Self is merged and lost in the one suffering, which is selflessness. You have forgotten yourself as you have put on the shoes of the other one. And if Christ is fully identifying Himself with those suffering ones, you are sharing this identification with Him in cooperation of passion.

    The Samaritan did not just weep over the plight of that man, for faith is not just feeling. He cared for him. As the Samaritan treated that sufferer, so Christ treated us, stepping down from heaven and healing the wounds that sin has afflicted on our souls. The mark of that love is selflessness. Looking to Christ (2 Cor. 3), we shall reflect that selfless love in our relation to others and fulfill the principle: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

    Winfried Stolpmann

  9. Just following on from Joan. We become children of God and should be allowing the Holy Spirit to change us so that we will develope the characteristic of Our Heavenly father.
    But this is not the case!, we moan, complain about other people, some people trying to follow God's leading and instead of getting encouragement you hear crippling comments. How are we reading our Bible? Are we practising what we read? Are we changing from inside first?
    Lets us seek God for real. Lord have Mercy on us. Amen


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