Hi, how are you?
These are the common greetings that I am familiar with. However, this morning, a colleague said that among a people group in Senegal the usual greeting is, “Do you love yourself?” And the typical response is, “Yes, I love myself.”
Quite interesting, isn’t it? As a person who is not familiar with the culture of this people group, I simply wonder about the origin of this greeting. I cannot dismiss them as narcissistic. I am sure that this greeting does not encourage self-centeredness. And as I reflected on this unique greeting, I was reminded of the second greatest commandment. Jesus said,
Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).
This command is clear: you are to love others. However, to be able to obey this command, you must first love yourself. This implies a healthy, Spirit-led understanding and valuation of yourself–that you look at yourself as God does. You thank God for who you are and who you are becoming in Christ. Therefore, you accept yourself Just as God has accepted you.
I am amazed by the fact that so many Christians suffer from insecurity due to the lack of awareness of who they are in Christ. As a result, they do not love themselves in the way God wants them to. No wonder there is so much conflict among Christians. Their lack of “self-love” hinders them from loving others.
I suppose now is a good time for some self-examination. So, let me ask you:
Do you love yourself?