Good morning on this first Friday of the year! You want to be more like Jesus. I want to be more like Jesus. Jesus loves you and me. Guess what? Now I love me. Your turn! We tend to think that any love of the self is egotism, something to be avoided at all costs. However, Jesus commanded that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus cannot command us to sin, therefore we must love that person reflected in the mirror as we love our neighbors. Yes, if you hate your neighbors that could be a problem.
Love of the self is commanded right after we love God and then our neighbors. The neighbors Jesus commanded us to love are everyone. You might also say that in order to love our neighbors, we must love the self too. As Jesus placed it into one command, so we must have both or none. To love myself is to love God's creation. To love myself is also to love the man Jesus died to save. Therefore I must love myself to obey Jesus and to be more like Him.
Egotism is an excessive love for the self to the exclusion of all others. Love is probably not even the correct word for that definition. Egotism makes of the self an idol, and we know by now that God takes a rather dim view of idolatry. The flip side of that is what we can easily fall into, ignoring or even hating of the self. Remember that you and I are God's beloved creation that He sent His Son to die for on the cross. We must love ourselves too, or we can never be like our Lord Jesus.Rejoice in the day that God has made!
Jesus is coming again!