“You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
Take time to care for yourself.
I used to think this was blasphemous. “How dare I think of myself?” I reasoned, “On the contrary, I should forget myself and focus on others and God!”
But Jesus took time to care for Himself, escaping to the sea or a mountain, away from the rush of crowds that wanted Him to meet their needs for healing, food and wisdom. He went home to friends (Mary and Martha and Lazarus) in Bethany when He wanted to rest for the night after preaching in Jerusalem for the entire day.
I believe that each of us have “love tanks” from where we scoop up and dispense love to others. If we keep on giving love to others, our love tanks will soon be empty—so we need to replenish that tank. In fact, when the hemorrhaging woman touched Jesus and got healed, Jesus said, “Power had gone out of me.”
That was why He retreated into the arms of His Father and recharged and refilled His love tank.
After a tired day of speaking engagements, I know I need to refill my love tank. I switch into a “loving myself” mode by simply being quiet in prayer or having my wife cuddled up beside me or reading a good book or watching a good film.
Instead of taking the common vacations that people take these days (these vacations are so rushed, people come home wanting a vacation from their vacation!), I schedule “personal restoration retreats” regularly. These are very slow days of reading, walking, praying and a lot of sleeping.
Are you comfortable with loving yourself? Why or why not?
List a few things you can do to love yourself this coming week.
My good friend Marjorie Duterte has come up with a book that chronicles her inward journey towards loving herself. Read her heartwarming and triumphant story and discover priceless lessons that will help you love yourself the way God loves you.
Excerpt taken from Simplify and Live the Good Life: How to be Really Wealthy in All Areas
Photo by Kristina Kymantaite at http://500px.com/photo/41283588/-by-kristina-kymantaitė