Love Your Neighbor As Yourserlf
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Gosh, like so many things Jesus says, at first glance, it sounds so easy, so straightforward. However, for people who struggle to love themselves, to truly see worth in themselves in the way God does, this verse can be particularly baffling. I have always found it easier to pour out myself for others who I care about, to compliment them, to see their value, their worth, than to see my own. I often find my worth in my ability to be useful to others. In doing this, I fail to see the fullness of my worth through God’s eyes, and in so doing fail to see the full complexity of my neighbor. Loving our neighbor means more than what we refrain from doing to them, in living the commandments, but what we actively do for them in positive service projects. Loving our neighbor means meeting them where they are, by loving their complexity, their positive and negative traits, not for what they can and cannot do for us or even for themselves, but just for who they are. I think this is hard to do for many of us, because we don’t love ourselves in this complexity. We see ourselves as our career, our accomplishments, or our ability to raise a family. God is calling us to love our neighbor as we love our self, but this presumes loving our self. So I challenge you to get to know and love yourself, your faults and failings especially, as this will better prepare you to love your neighbor in a way that gives God joy, but also remember to give yourself grace along the way, it’s not as easy as it sounds.