One of the most influential spiritual teachers of all time was Jesus of Nazareth. His teachings have inspired followers for the past two thousand years. His message of love and forgiveness has been shared on every continent and his words transcribed into numerous languages. And, each Sunday more people will be in attendance at a local house of worship than at all of the professional sporting events combined for an entire year! Yes. The life and teachings of Jesus have made an impact.
The sayings of Jesus were difficult for many who heard them first hand to wrap their heads around. And, today many are still having the same problem. One such saying was spawned by a question that Jesus was asked. He was asked to say which was the greatest of all God’s commandments. Jesus did not respond with by just giving one commandment, but with two. For these two are intertwined. That is to love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength. And the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. He stated that the entire law and the prophets hinged on these two commandments: Love for God and love for man (Matthew 22: 37-40). How is it possible for a man to truly love God and have no compassion for his fellow man? To truly love God is to love others.
I want you to notice something about the second commandment: love your neighbor as yourself. This is where it gets tricky. There seems to be this notion among religious folks that to love yourself is a sin. Self love is considered pride or arrogance. It is advocated by some that one should think of their self in the lowest possible terms. Where this notion came from is anyone’s guess, but it did not come from God. If you have no love for yourself, you will have no love for others.
To be the person you want to be and were created to be, you must develop a good self image! Nothing will affect your success greater than the way you see yourself. Your ability to achieve your goals and live the life you were designed to live all hinges on a healthy self concept. How you see yourself will reflect in your friends, career choices, and even who you marry. It is imperative that you learn to like yourself!
What can you do to change your self-concept? Take control over your thinking! The only thing that you have complete control over is your thoughts! Change your thoughts and you will change your life. The Apostle Paul even stated that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). The way you see yourself all starts in the mind.
Secondly, ingest material that will impact the way you think. Listen to personal development and self help audios to motivate and inspire you to become the person you want to be. Attend seminars and take classes that will help you as well. Read books that build you up. This year spend just as much money investing in yourself as you do your car. See what kind of results it will produce.
One more thing you can do to help change your self-concept is to say over and over “I like myself.” Say with conviction and emotion. Say to yourself while looking in the mirror. Eventually your words and thoughts will line up and you will be the person you want to be. To love others you must learn to love yourself!