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Does Jesus want us to love ourself first or others? MATTHEW 22:39

MATTHEW 22:39—Does Jesus want us to love ourself first or others?

 

: Jesus says in Matthew are to love neighbor as ourselves. But, if love ourselves first, before love neighbor, would be putting self before neighbor. Is Jesus teaching should be selfish?

SOLUTION: Loving others as love ourselves can be understood in different ways, but in no way is Jesus implying should be selfish. The Bible condemns “lovers of themselves” (2 Tim. 3:2). It exhorts us not to consider only own interests, but also the interest of others (Phil. 2:4). There are three ways to understand the phrase, “love others as yourself.”

First, believe Jesus is saying ought to love others as ought to love ourselves, namely, unselfishly. , however, seems far too subtle and dialectical for Jesus’ normally straight-forward moral assertions. It would have been forthright to simply do not be selfish than the tangled command of loving oneself unselfishly.

, Jesus could have meant should love others as ought to love ourselves, namely, properly. There is a legitimate self-respect or self-love. Ephesians tells us to care for own bodies, “for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it” (5:28–29). There is nothing wrong a legitimate self-care and self-respect. The Bible condemns someone for “thinking of himself highly than ought,” but urges to think “soberly” (Rom. 12:3). In sense, Jesus may be saying love others as you ought to love yourselves.

Third, Jesus could have meant we should love others as much as we do love ourselves. is, might have been saying we should measure how we ought to love others by how we actually do love ourselves without implying that the way we love ourselves is correct. Rather, God may be simply pointing to love for self as the standard by which we should judge how much to love others. In way, there would be an automatic check selfish love, we would have to love others much too.

, N. L., & Howe, T. A. (1992). When critics ask : A popular handbook Bible difficulties (355). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

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