Jesus shares the the two most important commandments – to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.
I think we probably remember the love the Lord part.
And we likely remember the love your neighbor part, too. But that as yourself part—those are the words we forget…
Jesus knew that our self-care wasn’t just about us. Loving ourselves has a positive ripple effect on our families, our neighbors, our communities and the world.
We are the body of Christ. We belong to one another and desperately need one another’s love. But that starts with the way we love ourselves.
Just think of what the world would look like if we really embraced Jesus’s commandment.
If we started exercising and took control of our eating habits.
If we made time to be creative.
If we spent time in the Word.
We would be healthier.
We would be happier.
We would love our neighbors better.
We wouldn’t neglect our friends when they are going through painful seasons, too wrapped up in our own busyness.
Instead, we would be able to radically love the way Jesus has called us to do.
This new year is already looking different for me. I chose the word SLOW as my word for the year and I am embracing it deeply.
I have turned down work opportunities and not over-scheduled myself.
I have made room for a Bible study and book club.
I have already had lunch with three different friends, and several more dates are on the books.
And while slow might be my word, that doesn’t mean days aren’t going to be full and sometimes messy.
That’s not how life works—all of us know that firsthand. Three kids to parent, 9-5s to report to, meals to make, laundry to fold and the list goes on.
Yet, in each day, fringe hours can be found. Those bits that might be missed or wasted all together can be redeemed for beautiful, soul-filling hobbies and habits.
When we redeem those hours, life-change happens. Beauty is found. Friendships are nurtured.
We are the best versions of the people God created us to be.
– Jessica Turner
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
– Mark 12:30-31 (NLT)
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.
– 3 John 2
Photo by Susie Stewart