Written in September 2008
Love your neighbor as yourself. Well, if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others. It seems selfish, but really it’s the opposite of selfish. In loving yourself, you realize that you have things to offer others through relationships, whether those things be personality traits, qualities, talents, gifts, interests, etc. Being in a relationship is never about “What can I gain from this relationship,” at least, it shouldn’t be. Relationships are exchanges between two different people that can offer one another different things that may not be present in their lives. If I am living an insecure existence, one where I am unsure of my gifts and talents and other unique qualities of mine, then I cannot function in a healthy relationship due to my inability to love. Loving ourselves, in the sense of appreciating what God has done through us and for us as people, is the only way we can learn to love others. If we are judgmental and insecure, we will carry that attitude through all of our relationships. I have experienced this. Everyone knows that the bully in elementary school only resorted to bullying because he or she was insecure in his or her identity or life. My inability to completely appreciate God’s handiwork in myself causes me to have the same judgments on others. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to God, who strived to make me who I am. He is still molding me, and I know that my perception of others will mold along with that. It has in many ways already changed in direct relation to me changing.
My ultimate mission in life is to love people as God loves, and I know that through sanctification, God can change me into someone who can barely come close to loving others as He loved me. I strive for it and pray that God will do that work in me, to love myself in the interest of others.
When Paul and other early apostles spoke the Word, the Message of the Gospel, they spoke it with power. It was a revolution that spoke to people’s hearts, souls, inner-most beings. What have humans done to the Gospel to make it so much less powerful in these days? How can the Word of God have lost any power and authority over people’s lives? How can we have that power over the Word? I guess it’s more about the power we have over each other. But, why would any person believe another person over the Master of the Universe? Who would, in their right mind, put their faith in humans? That’s a terrible idea.