Chapter 2 of God is Love is all about relationships, loving self and others. Learning to love yourself can be both scary and empowering at the same time. I used to be a people pleaser, hated conflict and avoided it. I did what everyone expected of me and put others needs before my own. I believed this was the loving Christian thing to do. But in the process, I found I was losing myself. My value and self-worth were determined by being needed by others.
To choose to put your desires above others appears to go against what we have been taught in church. Jesus said you cannot love others until you first love yourself, but we tend to skip over that part of the verse in the greatest commandment and just focus on loving God and others. The way God designed us is that we can only give what we have first received. As we receive God’s love for us, we can then see ourselves as being worthy of loving and then we have so much love inside it naturally leaks out onto everyone around us.
However, if you see yourself and the world around you from a fear perspective, living from love will be difficult for you. In our American culture we are taught to position ourselves against those who we perceive as being different from us and immediately judge ourselves as being better than they. We all witnessed this during the election cycle and now how people are responding to the results. The more fear you feel and release, the more fear is going to increase in our country and the more you will create the very thing you are protesting against. Instead, choose to release love and forgiveness. These are the only things that can transform relationships. Take off the labels of separation based on gender, race, political or sexual orientation, socio-economic status, culture, etc. At our core we are all human, part of the human race. We are all created from the same source/God whether you are democrat, republican or independent. We are all interconnected and can use this connection with each other to bring about love or fear in our relationships with each other and with the larger society around us. The choice is always up to us. Choose wisely.