by Newman Millhollon-Turner (aka Rev. Hairstylist)
Good morning, beloved community. Today, we gather to explore a theme deeply woven into the fabric of our spiritual lives: the importance of self-love. In a world where we are often taught to put others first, embracing self-love can seem counterintuitive. Yet, it is a fundamental aspect of our journey towards wholeness and spiritual fulfillment.
Let us reflect on the words from 1 Corinthians 16:14, reads, "Let all that you do be done with love.” This passage invites us to consider how loving ourselves is not just an act of personal kindness, but a divine imperative.
The Misconception of Self-Love
Self-love is often misunderstood. It's not about narcissism or selfishness. Instead, it's about recognizing our inherent worth as creations of God. It's about treating ourselves with the same compassion and understanding that we extend to others.
Why Self-Love Matters
Spiritual Wholeness: Self-love is a cornerstone of our spiritual being. By embracing it, we acknowledge the divine light within us, honoring God’s creation.
Empowerment to Serve Others: When we love ourselves, we are better equipped to love and serve others genuinely and effectively.
Resilience and Strength: Self-love fosters inner strength, enabling us to face life's challenges with grace and courage.
Practical Steps Towards Self-Love
Forgiveness: Begin by forgiving yourself. We are all imperfect, and self-forgiveness is a crucial step towards healing and growth.
Gratitude: Cultivate a practice of gratitude. Recognize and appreciate your unique talents and contributions.
Self-Care: Engage in acts of self-care. This includes not only physical care but also nurturing your mind and spirit through prayer, meditation, and community.
Embracing Our Imperfections
In Romans 3:23, we learn “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Embracing self-love means accepting our imperfections, understanding that our value doesn't lie in being perfect, but in being authentically ourselves, made in the image of God.
The Ripple Effect of Self-Love
Self-love extends beyond the self. It creates a ripple effect, impacting our relationships, our community, and how we engage with the world. As we grow in self-love, we contribute to a world where love, compassion, and understanding flourish.
The Greatest Commandment
Mark 12:28-34 (NIV)
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
As we depart today, let us carry with us the understanding that self-love is not just a solitary journey, but a communal and spiritual one. It's about coming home to ourselves, recognizing our divine origin, and extending that love outward.
May we walk in the light of self-love, embracing the fullness of who we are, and in doing so, reflect the love of the Creator in all we do. Amen.
(As a hair professional, I constantly remind my clients about the importance of this holistic approach to self-care. It's about looking good on the outside and feeling great on the inside.)