Loving the self. Damn that’s hard. I know I ought to do it. But at times it’s just takes to too much energy. In those days I tell myself, “At least God loves me.” That takes me a little ways up the path of life but saying it and believing it are two different things. Yes, God loves me. God is eternal. God is love. Thus, love is always present. I need to learn how to love myself eternally, you know like God loves. But how? Good question, me self! Simply by understanding God’s love as expressed through Jesus the Christ.
“The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that Jesus was about love first and foremost, in word and deed. Jesus began with love for God, but inseparably linked that love with love for neighbor , with the understanding that neighbor includes the other, the outsider, the outcast, the last, the least, the lost, the disgraced, the dispossessed, and the enemy.
“This love for neighbor was, in turn, inextricably related to an appropriate love for self. In fact, to love neighbor as oneself leads to the realization that oneself and one’s neighbor are actually distinct yet inseparable realities. In today’s world, we must add that, for Jesus, God’s love extends to the wildflower, the meadow grass, the sparrow, and the raven. He saw all of God’s creatures as part of one heavenly realm, as did dear St. Francis, and as do more and more of us.”
If in fact these two scholars are correct then I can learn how to love myself by opening my heart and learning how to love my pets, my children, works of art or music that isn’t always to my liking, or food that is different than what I’m used to.
“When I think of this [new] kind of Christianity of the future, then, I think of a movement of revolutionary love. I see it as distinctively Christian, but not in any exclusive way, because if we truly see love as Jesus’ point and passion, then the depth of our devotion to Christ will always lead us to love our Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Indigenous, nonreligious, agnostic, atheist, and other neighbors as ourselves. . . “
Adapted from a daily devotional from Richard Rohr on 01/03/2020.
Brian D. McLaren, “Three Christianities,” “The Future of Christianity,” Oneing, vol. 7, no. 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2019), 73, 75-76.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”