Renouncing Self Hatred [Part 1]

By Alan Wright — September 01, 2016

Are you ready for some good news?

God has commanded you to love your neighbor as yourself; so it must be fine to love yourself!

Today’s text: “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31, ESV)

When our son Bennett was ten years old, we were on the way to the golf course when he brought up, of all things, the subject of addiction.

“Dad, how can you get addicted to something?”

“Well, umm,” I swallowed hard, “Bennett, if you’re addicted to something, you feel like you have to have it and if you don’t have it you start really wanting it. Why do you ask?”

“I saw on ESPN something about a professional golfer who blew two million dollars gambling. They said he had a gambling addiction. Can you be addicted to gambling?”

“Yes, Bennett, you can be addicted to gambling.

After a few moments, our priceless conversation continued with a further query: “Dad, why would he become addicted to gambling? I don’t understand. He is rich. He gets to play golf all the time.” 

I pondered the boy’s important question for a few moments and settled for a simplified, but direct approach:

“Bennett, as strange as it may sound, that professional golfer isn’t happy with himself, and he’s looking for something to make him happy. Even though he’s made a lot of money and he’s famous and gets to play golf all the time, deep down, he doesn’t feel good about himself.” 

It was quiet for a long moment. The, my ten year old boy blurted out he words I would have most wanted to hear but never would have predicted:

“Well,” Bennett spoke with a slow happy drawl, “I l-o-o-ve myself.”

I muffled my laugh and simply responded, “Good Bennett. As long as you love yourself you’ll probably never be addicted to anything.”

You never hurt what you love.

You’re invited to love yourself as God does. And that’s the Gospel!

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