Love Everyone. Don’t Forget Yourself!

When we walk in the Spirit it is so much easier and feels more natural to love God, others and ourselves. Our hearts align with God’s desires, and He desires love. “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14

We are His creation. We are called to love one another because He created all of us and Jesus died for all of us… the annoying roommate, the flaky friend, the arrogant professor, the criminal – all of us. A perspective we often miss is that as we are trying to love everyone, we are part of the “everyone” that others are trying to love. Let’s begin to include ourselves in the “everyone” we are focused on loving.  

Sure, some people are easier to love than others, and maybe it’s easier to love someone when you don’t know all the negative or harmful thoughts that cross their mind the way we know our own minds. You don’t know all the mistakes of their past, the struggles of their flesh, etc., but I’ll bet you can find a reason in most people without a lot of digging that challenges your ability to love them. We choose to love, despite the imperfections and conflicting personality traits. We must also choose to love ourselves through trials and mistakes.

If you have any exposure at all to mainstream media, you have probably been bombarded with this false idea of “self-love” which often looks like following every whim, never challenging yourself and creating a dangerous bubble to live in. Loving ourselves if not giving in to everything we desire, our flesh will betray us, and our desires are certainly not always pure. “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 Self-care is totally important, but sometimes it’s less about taking a bubble bath with a sweet treat and more about asking the Lord to reveal tough things that require our attention. A bubble bath and treat could very well be what the Lord has prescribed to slow you down and find rest, but I am doubtful that it is always the self-love He is guiding you toward. Is it love to spoil a child with everything they desire? The word spoil itself would suggest not.

We don’t have to love blindly, we shouldn’t, in fact. I have a deep love for people in my life that I would never confide in. I love animals, but they are not all welcome in my house. A raccoon recently opened my screen door and let itself in – it was absolutely NOT welcome. It’s good to use discernment and be aware of how and why we are showing people and ourselves love. Is it for selfish gain? Is it putting us in harm’s way? Is it a mask for a deeper issue that needs to be sorted?

Love feels empty without grace. Jesus surrounded himself with outcasts and sinners, extending love to a group of people society deemed “unlovable” or “unworthy”. He taught people to move past their evil lifestyles – this involved self-forgiveness. We are called to forgiveness. “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 We know forgiving others is an ongoing goal every time we are wronged. We must also forgive ourselves and choose love. Living in regret and shame is not how to do this. Allowing God’s grace to cover us, to heal us, and to propel us forward is a great strategy.

Jesus demonstrated perfect love to and for us in complete obedience with God’s will. Clearly, love is part of God’s plan.

Fluffy moments of self-love are delightful, but make sure you don’t only love yourself on the surface. You are worthy of a deep love from others; you are worthy of deep love from yourself. Jesus saw the value of your life when He was on that cross.


God so deeply loves you. 


Meagan | Love Encompassing