I give abundant praise to my Father for ingraining a particular trait in me from birth:
I love people.
I love meeting new people, learning more about an individual, spending quality time, yet even seasonal friendships…I am incredibly thankful for any person I meet. Experiences both good and bad have irreparably shaped me for the better. For good and beauty. Through learning and sharpening.
There is a verse, many in fact, on loving others. This particular pair of verses sums it all, in case someone were wondering (which many did).
The summation is this:
“For <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”>the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “ <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”>You shall love your neighbor as yourself.””
A very long time ago, when I was even younger, I would read this verse and others like it, and a realization would hit me square in the eye.
‘Leigh, you need to love yourself as you do your neighbor.’
You see, loving others has never been a problem. And I don’t say that as a boast in myself – for trust me, my flesh wants to be selfish and judge and complain just like my sin-filled humanity demands. I know without doubt that it is His Spirit surging within my imperfectness, turning wretched into loving. I truly thank God for His work within me – drawing me to others with such fervor – through His work in my life. I thank Him often as I know my own humanness.
So loving others – check (most of the time).
But loving myself?
…..um, next question please?
I was pinched with the switching of that command. After all, you’ve heard the adage ‘how can you love others when you don’t love yourself?’
I believe that’s true, but I ignore it most of the time, thinking I’m doing just fine without having to focus on that “small” detail.
My deep-set sin (one of them anyway) is a total lack of appreciation for my own individuality. It’s so so much easier to connect with others. To focus on their strengths, cheer them on, encourage (how I love to build someone up and see them succeed!!). It stirs passion in me to see the beauty in another’s life not only lived, but realized.
…..just don’t ask me to turn that attention inward. …seriously, don’t ask please.
But that is not following the commandment.
Because I can’t help someone realize potential and beauty in the world if I have a self-effacing filter clogging my own perspective.
I can hold a hand, introduce a world of His perfect love, exhort others in mercy-bathed truth.
But until I connect with HIS truth
in MY depth-exploration, everyday life
I cannot be free – truly free – to go the distance
in the lives of those I love.
Uggghhhhh, I’m sorry sisters….I confess I went over. I broke the main rule of only 5 minutes. Please forgive this disregard…there was confession and truth to be named and I felt like I could not back out of it.
5 Minute Friday – it’ll get you every time.
come. free yourself. be true. observe what you are meant to uncover. link up. encourage your sister who bared her soul before you.
There is so much love to dive into.
Don’t miss yours.