Don’t Overdo It or Underdo It – Today’s Youth Devotion

Don’t Overdo It or Underdo It

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:14-27

All of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. Corinthians 12:27

TWO BIG dangers with loving yourself like Christ commanded: You can skimp on loving yourself until you wither away, or you can love yourself so much there’s no room in your world for anyone else.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul says that everyone is gifted by the Holy Spirit for min­istry (verse 7) and that God has created each Christian just as he wants him or her to be (verse 18). He compares the body of Christ to a human body and each member to a body part -an eye, ear, foot, and so on. The gist of this passage is that each of us is to accept the abilities God has given us and exercise them for the good of the body. That’s the kind of healthy self-love that leads to healthy love of others.

Paul shows what the wrong attitude of under loving yourself looks like. It’s like body parts that say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body” (1 Corin­thians 12:15, NASB). If you’re like that, you don’t love yourself enough. You whine, “I shouldn’t be in the spotlight. I’m not important.” You will have difficulty following Christ’s command to love others because you let an inferiority complex or a false sense of self-denial get in the way of loving yourself.

Some clues that you probably love yourself too little: You are praised for doing something well, but instead of saying thanks you point out the flaws in your work. You don’t give your opinion in an important discussion because you don’t think it will make a difference. You are over-committed at church and stressed out at school because you feel guilty whenever you say no.

You’re just as bad off if you over love yourself. You overestimate your impor­tance to God and to others. Pride and self-centeredness hinder you in trying to fulfill Christ’s command to love others. Paul wrote of such people, “The eye can never say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you’” (1 Corinthians 12:21).

Some signs you probably love yourself too much: You can’t pull yourself away from the TV to help a neighbor search for a runaway dog. You dominate discussions because you are convinced no one else knows as much as you do. You break com­mitments at home, school, or church when you become bored.

Failing to love yourself leaves you running on fumes when it comes to loving others-you will burn out fast and often. But you will also run out of gas in loving others if you direct most of your energy to yourself.

Think about it: When you love yourself for the sake of loving others, you can keep going and going and…

REFLECT: Do you love yourself too much-or too little?

PRAY: Talk to God about your desire to love yourself like he does.