“Love others as well as you love yourself.” Matthew 22:39
The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Which commandment in God’s law is the most important?” (vs. 36) Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” Then he said we need to love others as much as we love ourselves to be “set alongside” of the loving God commandment. That makes sense: Loving the Lord makes it easier to love yourself and others.
Perhaps the reason our world is in constant turmoil is that people don’t love themselves. Self-loathing or self-hatred probably starts the moment someone puts a child or adult down in a way that embarrasses them or makes them feel foolish. What a shame. Children learn by adventuring outside the little box they were wrapped in as an infant. They begin to explore their surrounding when they reach for a toy beyond their blanket or highchair. A toddler slips around the house and wanders away to see what’s on the other side of their world.
Being corrected is part of life–but it needs to be done reflecting God’s voice and using God’s hands.
Dear God, when we steer away from your righteous path, thank you for correcting us with a big dose of love—not shame. Amen.