When Your Neighbor is Yourself

Most of us learned Mark 12:31a as children, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ But what happens when you turn out to be the neighbor?

A few years ago, while attending my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, Tracy, our leader, posed the following question to the group:

Would you talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself?

Instantly, an arrow doused in truth plowed through the bulls eye encircling my heart. Truth is, if I spoke to my friends the way I “speak” to myself at times, I’d be friendless.

I can’t imagine telling someone I love that they’re overweight, lack talent, or that they’re less of a person because a degree isn’t packed away in their attic—yet I have no qualms in speaking those things into my own life.

I remember hearing a pastor years ago say how we’re not responsible for the voices that come at us from every direction but we are responsible for letting them in, meditating on them, if you will.

When we tear ourselves down, speak lies into our deepest parts, we are tearing down what God himself designed and purposed for His glory.


Maybe I’m not alone. Maybe I’m not the only one who is pretty good at showing the love of Christ to my neighbors, to those God brings across my path, but when it comes to loving the neighbor I see looking back at me in the mirror, there is resistance.

Since that day in Weight Watchers, I try to be more alert to the lies I’ve believed about myself for years. I’ve honed my snatching skills, making sure the lies don’t hang around long enough to take hold of my mind, my heart. Replacing them with truth gives the lies no room to return. The only Truth powerful enough to banish lies forever.

So, how about you?

Would you talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself?

If not, know you’re not alone. Rest in knowing that we have a Father who longs to show you truth about yourself. I’d love to have an opportunity to pray for you.

If so, praise God! A healthy self-confidence is a blessing, and a man or woman confident in their identity is a powerful weapon in the hands of a mighty God.

Love yourself, neighbor — for it is only then we are able to truly love others.


“Friends, let’s make a promise today not only to cultivate the inner beauty God desires to see in us, but also to search for the beauty in each other. After all, we’re family, and families stick together.” – Vonda Skelton, Seeing Through The Lies

Cathy Baker

Cathy Baker is an award-winning writer and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. As a twenty-five-year veteran Bible instructor, she's led hundreds of studies and workshops. She's also contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. In addition, her poetry can be found in several popular anthologies. She and her husband, Brian, live in the foothills of the Carolinas where she one day hopes to have her very own Goldendoodle. Subscribe to Cathy's blog and receive a free e-book, Praying In Every Room of Your Home. http://www.cathybaker.org

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