“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
We need to live a well balanced life. This above scripture is a great example of balance. Balance is so important in many things. Take for instance the photo of me balancing on a BOSU. If you have eve r been on one, it’s is impossible to master it. You are always off balance. You will eventually lose control and have to step off of it or you will hit the ground with your face. A hard fact is that a lot of people live their lives as if they are on a BOSU and when it really tough they don’t have a firm foundation to step off onto. It’s not a fun feeling being out of control. That is the key though isn’t it, being out of control? The world says we need to be in control of our lives, but if we go by the worlds standards; it’s a life out of control. That’s a paradox, God always has a solution to everything worldly. The truth is, if we put God at the helm of our lives we are very much in control. Balance will be happening when God is in control.
To obtain balance in our lives we have to live a Matthew 22:37-40 lifestyle. I found in my own life that I had to love myself the way God loves me, in order to truly love God. This may be a hard concept to fathom, but we all are given the capacity to love ourselves to a certain degree. We have to take care of ourselves, our heart, soul and mind. Don’t get this self-love mixed up with selfishness. That by the way , is a ploy of the enemy to make you believe you are being selfish when you are taking care of yourself. He doesn’t want you to take care of yourself, he wants you so busy that you don’t have time to think about your health or well being. That’s why it’s so important to take time out for ourselves, whether it be a hobby, sport or whatever. Rest and taking care of yourself is not a sin. It’s a sin when you don’t.
Now let’s focus on that scripture. It says we need to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, which is our spirit man, or where the Holy Spirit dwells. All of our soul, that would be our physical body and emotional side. Finally all of our mind, which is all the knowledge we have obtained. The interesting phrase that stood out to me is the “the second is like it” in between the two commandments. How is the second commandment like it? Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s like it, because if we are to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind we have to love His creation, which is ourselves first; then other people. When we have all of this happening we have a balanced life of love. So, in actuality when we love ourselves, we are loving God.
I want to finish up this blog with what selfishness is and the difference between it and agape love. There are two extremes to selfishness and in between them is agape love or godly love. Another name is unconditional love. The first extreme is depression. This is anger put toward yourself in a way that can cause not only mental and emotional harm, but physical harm as well. As in my case I was eating myself into an early grave. unfortunately, many people cannot see past that anger and do themselves in at a much faster rate. The other extreme of selfishness is arrogance. How can I elevate myself and make my self better and look good. How can I obtain material possessions to show how awesome I am. That is self-love out of control. Thank God He has given us the happy medium that helps us to shine our light to the world with a love that is neither depressing or arrogant. We don’t think so little of ourselves and we don’t think to much about ourselves. We see ourselves as God sees us. Perfect without blemish thanks to Jesus work on the cross. What’s really awesome about this is that when life on the BOSU gets out of control and balance is gone awry, we have Jesus as our firm slab of concrete to step off onto and know we will find the balance we need to stay upright.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2012.