No man ever yet hated himself or his own body but loves it and protects it.
“Oh yeah?””What about suicide or cutting yourself, or trashing your health with alcohol or excessive work? Are they loving themselves?”
If you look deeper into why people do these things, it is never for the welfare of others, because it doesn’t help anyone else. It is done to give oneself relief, distraction from even greater pain or to get oneself out of current misery. Suicide takes our own pain and multiplies it by 10 and shares it with everyone we know and with all those God intended to bless through our lives, who will now lose out.
This is the second great commandment that I love my neighbor as myself!
I have found that if I mistake self loathing for humility, and never let God or others meet my needs, I don’t have any idea how to help others. I have often tried to bless others and I feel love for others but, because of my own self-contempt, I invariably cause havoc in the other person’s life. For how can I love an invisible God if I don’t practice on people I can see? How can we love on people I can see if I don’t practice on those I can see. I need to assume that their needs are the same as mine and that what meets my needs might meet theirs.
God uses this truth of seeing myself as God sees me, worthy of love, to motivate me to greater love of others. He tells me to love my wife as my own flesh because if I love my wife I am loving myself. So what is the SELFISH thing? Doing what is best for me, not just doing what I want. Since doing things God’s way is best for me, by definition, then being properly selfish is to be properly godly! Freedom is not doing whatever my emotions urge me to do. Rather, freedom is finding the power to do what is best. It is slavery to do what my whims and flesh tell me. If I truly understood what was the best way to see to my own happiness and future, I would wind up being perfectly godly. You see, the thing that is best for me is to follow the law of love and seek the best interest of those around me.
When I was in the Air Force, God called me to seek the welfare and good reputation of my boss and to help advance the career of those working under my authority and to seek the healing of those entrusted to my care. — And I wound up with the Airforce commendation medal!
So seek your best interest: love your spouse, love your children, love your neighbor, do good to those who despitefully use you, pray for your enemies to be blessed, cry “father forgive them for they know not what they do”, work to make your boss look good especially if he is “froward” , give to them that ask, if you have two coats share with others, gladly let your life spend and be spent for others, when attacked–reply “thank you for your feedback and concern, I will consider your concern and do you have any suggestions on how I might improve?, when controlled-do even more that you are required, give with a gleeful heart, don’t let your right hand know the good that your left hand has been up to and vica versa and your father in heaven will see and reward. LAY UP FOR YOURSELF TREASURE IN HEAVEN! Can you imagine anyone sinning to get more treasure in heaven? Ludicrous! Don’t forget to DELIGHT IN THE DOING and savor in advance the reward to come.
They gave children a candy bar and told them that if they did not eat it and would wait a while they would get two candy-bars. Many children could not wait but those who did received two and also had wonderful lives full of success while the others flunked out and wound up in lives of crime and failure.