Tonight, Mike Glenn spoke from Matthew 22:34-40. Those wacky Pharisees were at it again, trying to trap Jesus through one of their questions.
“Teacher,” they asked. “Which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
As usual, Jesus saw through their smokescreen and gave a brilliant answer. Love God with everything that’s in you and love your neighbor as yourself.
For years, I never really thought about the “as yourself” part of the command. But for you to truly love others as God would have you to, you have to love yourself. It goes against a lot of what we’ve been taught about how loving yourself is wrong and prideful.
Loving yourself is simply seeing yourself the way God does.
Mike talked about how when God created you, He said, “It is very good.” Imagine a world-class chef tasting his own masterpiece and declaring, ‘Ahhhh, it is verrrry gooood” and you have an idea of what this means.
God looked at you and was pleased. He didn’t shrug His shoulders and say something like “Eh, close enough.” He said you were very good.”
Mike went on to say that when you find your identity not in what your enemies or friends or even you say about you but what God truly says about you, it changes the way you live. It changes the way you love yourself, others, and– ultimately– God.
That’s something that I’m still learning, but I’m to the point where I have days where I see myself as the Beloved of God and let that be what defines me. And those days are becoming more and more frequent.
So let me remind you once again. You are not your spotty resume. You are not your latest failed marriage. You are not the guy who’s still trying to find himself and still not having a clue about who he is. You are not whatever failures or fiascos you’ve had in the past.
You have worth because you were created in the image of God and then prized highly enough for God to send Jesus to die on your behalf. You are the Beloved.