I awakened with a JOLT….it suddenly hit me….. “I LOVE my self.” I was not prepared for that revelation. I’ve never been able to understand those different clichés. We’ve all heard them…you don’t love yourself enough; you have to love yourself before you can love someone else; and love your neighbor as yourself, etc. I’ve always thought: Give me a break. I’ve NEVER thought in terms of ‘loving myself.’ How silly can one get?
We all know Mark 12:30-31 – AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
I thought that I understood the meaning, but frankly, because… I’ve NEVER considered “loving myself” as an alternative. My brain just doesn’t work that way. I’ve questioned it of my Bible-Study friends, and have never, until this morning, gotten a hold on what Jesus was saying….to me.
My wife…too often, tells me…“you’re always thinking of yourself.” Bah bah bah…same ole stuff. What? I’ve always denied it… until now. Again, I should have been listening to her… she’s right…as always. I’ve ALWAYS thought that I put others first in my life….always …and me… I put last.
As it turns out… It’s simply not true, and ‘today I realize it.’ I’ve been praying about a friend who is in very dire straits. I’ve asked God to intervene…. To rescue him… maybe even… to take from me, and give to him. You know… like the government does…or at like…like Robin Hood. But, I thought…WAIT …God might grant that prayer, and literally take from me, and give to him. Did I really want that? I failed the test! Remember: Be careful of what you pray for…you might just get it. Was ‘that’ what I really wanted? I was thinking of me…maybe not FIRST…but obviously not LAST.
It’s the same thing that the rich man asked Jesus…what do I have to do to follow you? Jesus said…’sell all that you have and give the proceeds to the poor.’ The man was very rich, and was sickened of the prospects, so he left… doing nothing. That’s me. I failed.
I was afraid that God would take me up on the idea of taking from me and giving to my friend. I was thinking of myself. NOW…for the REVELATION. If I substituted, for a moment, the word…THINK, instead of LOVE, I realized my wife is correct. To THINK of myself…is to LOVE myself. I’m GUILTY…as charged. Maybe it’s the survival instinct? Is it me, or is it just human nature?
While I still think of myself as putting other’s first… at least… I’m beginning to see a “crack” in my defense. I’m human. I’m guilty. I see, now, what Jesus was talking about. He was saying…Think of other’s first… think of them, as you would think of yourself. Now…when I think of LOVE, in the Godly sense; I fully understand what Jesus is telling me. I LOVE you Jesus… help me to LOVE, and to THINK of others FIRST. Give me the STRENGTH to put myself LAST.