As You Love Yourself (4 of 6)

As You Love Yourself (4 of 6)

Sun 16 Aug 2009 AM

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Description
God's calling the church, every person, to serve. Love always serves others; but if you're unhappy about who you are, you'll use the serving as a way of fulfilling an unmet need inside.

God wants us to place value on ourselves. I want to focus on 'as you love yourself.' What do you believe about yourself? When you look in the mirror and you look there, you look at that person there, what do you think?
Audio Transcript
I want you to have a look in your Bible in Matthew, Chapter 22. We were sharing a series on the Extravagant Love, and we started off with the love of God. We looked into it, and we'll just start up where I was at, then I want to pick up and just do something to get you to think about your own inner life, and how to actually change on the inside.

In Matthew 22, Verses 36 to 40, we read this. Jesus was asked, Teacher, what's the great commandment in the law? He said you will love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And so for three Sundays, we shared first of all on God's extravagant love for us, and how we can connect by faith to that; the second one, we began to share on how to express love to God, various ways we can do that, a number of ways we can express our love to God. Love needs to be expressed. You can't just have it, and not give it away. Doug was talking about that today, about having lived in a family where there was love in the heart, but no expression, and this is always a problem if there's no expression. You don't know how to interpret no expression - then we shared also about how the Bible tells us to keep ourself in the love of God. We talked about what kinds of things can separate you or take you away from experiencing and walking in that love, and then what to do about that.

I want to pick up now the next verse, and it says now, the second is like it: you shall love your neighbour as yourself. You shall love your neighbour as yourself. That's an amazing statement isn't it? Notice He says that we're to love two people; we're to love our neighbour, and we're to love ourself. The word 'as' in there means in the same manner as what is following, so let's read it again. Love your neighbour in exactly the same way as what follows, the way you love yourself. Now you can understand then, if you have difficulty loving and valuing who you are, you will have difficulty loving people. In fact one of the foundations for properly building relationships, is that we have a true sense of value, a clear sense of identity, then we can actually love and value who we are. If you don't like who you are, what are you going to bring into a relationship?

If you are hiding on the inside, because you don't like what you see, what are you going to bring in and give into that relationship, because people will connect with you, they'll connect with what you communicate, so Jesus makes it very clear. Love, that word love means to hold in extremely high regard, to treat as something precious. How about that? Hold yourself in very high regard, consider yourself to be something very special, or very precious, treat as a special prize. It also means to take pleasure in. Isn't that an interesting thing, that we are to treat ourselves as a special treasure, consider ourself that way, to particularly place value upon ourselves? In other words we have to properly treat ourselves, the way God wants us to be treated, the way He sees us and treats us. This forms a foundation then, for stepping out into the world of relating to other people, so if you have a very low esteem, a very low value on yourself, if you have a lot of unresolved issues about yourself, they will all defile relationships you have when you step out to help other people.

Now God's calling the church, calls every person, to serve. Love always serves others, but if you're not happy about who you are, you'll use the serving as a way of fulfilling an unmet need inside, so God wants us to place value on ourselves. So I want to focus today on 'as you love yourself.' So what do you believe about yourself? When you look in the mirror and you look there, you look at that person there, what do you think? Quite an interesting question to ask isn't it? A lot of people don't like what they see - in fact they don't look at the mirror too long, they're trying to change everything straight away. See, when you look at yourself, do you like what you see? Are you happy with what you see, or is there much unresolved conflict about who you are?

Sermon Notes
Keywords: self-esteem, self-image, identity, self-worth, inferiority, superiority, pride, sober, sound mind, victim, training, learning, relate, boundaries