A portion of the Greatest Commandment is for us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we read the statement again, we will see that the assumption Jesus is making is that we already love ourselves. On some level that is most certainly true for each of us. On another level, however, we can observe when people don’t love themselves well. This is evident when a person can’t cultivate or maintain healthy or long-lasting relationships, or if they struggle with honesty. It may be observed by a person who is a gossiper, or someone who constantly compares themselves to others. If we canvas the world of entertainment and celebrity, this self-loathing is apparent when people are constantly changing, monitoring their appearance, or getting surgeries to make themselves be something they are not. And there we observe. We cannot love what we don’t see, and we must learn to see beyond the physical or what is only evident on the outside.
If we really want to love ourselves, we must regularly take inventory of our inner person—what is happening in the innermost parts of our minds and hearts, and how God is shaping and changing us through time and space. Self-reflection is an important leadership practice. It is also a means of monitoring our course—whether or not we maintain focus and continue in the pursuit of our lives’ purpose. Personal reflection is a discipline to cultivate because it also brings us to a place of thanksgiving and causes us to glorify God.