Love your neighbour as yourself.  Jesus commanded that.  It is a command to love the neighbour and nothing else.  It is no more a command to love yourself than is, “Take the car and go to Brixton as soon as you can” is a command that it has to be by car. If you get to Brixton that is fulfilling the command. If people want to believe that they are commanded to love themselves and they obey as we all do, then we must get a reward for doing so! That would be insane. So Florence Nightingale should navel gaze and spend time adoring herself get rewards for that and help nobody? If you are commanded to love yourself and fail then you are to be punished. Wanting self-love to be a command can only come from a place within that knows nothing of love at all.

The commandment is really about what does not come naturally. We are to put others and God first despite our love for ourselves. Self-love is natural and we are warned to not let it put ourselves first.

Love your neighbour as yourself does not mean love yourself as your neighbour. It does not make love for neighbour a mere option if you want it so otherwise you may love yourself alone for that is just as good.

Jesus merely comments that we already have self-love but that does not call it legitimate. He is only saying it is there and that is that. In fact as nobody can obey the command right now and it is a lifetime of hard work it is dangerous to assume that the self-love teaches us much about real love. It points to it.

Those who want Jesus to command you to love yourself want to use it as a weapon to bully you.  It is really about forcing a person to let you have your own way.  It has an unspoken assumption, "If you love me you will not ask me to change”.  And a threat, "You are bad and unruly unless you let me love myself my own way and keep your rules and opinions to yourself and try to agree with me."

The real motive behind one saying “if you love me you will not ask me to change” is,

# to take advantage of your wish to be seen as nice and charming.

# to take advantage of how society subtly and sometimes shamelessly bullies you into being nice even when you should not be

# it asks you to change despite saying asking for that is bad and inconsiderate

# it is down to one wanting one way love – they want to be admired even if it means being intolerant of you if you invite them to change

# it is usually about one’s sexual relationship choices as if that is all that matters? One does not love oneself if that is what one thinks. If they try to compensate for that by bulling/manipulating others to love them it will go terribly wrong. Any love they get will never be enough. That is no way to enjoy being loved.


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