9-10"I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. 11-15"I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. 17"But remember the root command: Love one another. (The Message Bible: John)
Ok, so this says that God loves us totally and completely and that we should take that and show others the same love. Sure, naturally; sounds so simple. But it never mentions for us to love ourselves? Hmmmmm...isn't that important though too or do people have too much love for themselves anyways that Jesus wanted to steer clear of that one? Give up my life for someone else? Well, in different ways we all do that; parents, children, spouses, etc.
I don't know many people that love themselves just the right amount. There are people that do not love themselves at all and there are people on the other end of the scale that love themselves far too much for their own good. Either way, it is hard to live life not thinking of yourself as anything much, because most likely you have got that impression from others or from things that have happened your whole life and that is just the mold you stay in. You can't see yourself as you truly are and surely not as someone that is loveable.
Then there are people that think only of themselves and how great they are and how little and pathetic everyone else is. That is not only truly sad and selfish, but it is pretty sickening. I find that those people are horrible to be around because they only talk about themselves non-stop and have very little room in their heart for anyone that is not them. It makes you feel like you are a speck of dirt and I am surprised people like them even have friends.
But, oddly enough, the people who think nothing of themselves and don't really see themselves as having much value are the people that I see the very best of this world in. They are so kind and giving and friendly and caring, but sometimes may not get those things back in return. So, after a while they either give up on being "nice" or give up on expecting any good things in life in return and get sad and burnt out. They say nice guys finish last but I would rather be friends with one nice guy than to have a million friends that are selfish and only love themselves.
At least God sees us as we truly and deeply are. He sees us at our best and at our worst; even the parts that our spouses or family or friends will never see. He doesn't give us love when we do something big or important or respect us how the rest of the world does; he cares nothing if we are rich and famous. He sees our soul, our inside, our real self, our hearts, our hurts and everything in between. The person we are when no one is looking or when we pick our nose or smell our armpits or burp...If God can love those parts of us, we should be humbled as a human being and not proud or boastful. Grateful I think is the word. No matter what we do or don't do. He loves us all the time; every second of the day. Even when those around us don't.
No matter what I do in life, I often think I am somewhat of a failure at my age. But then again, that is only when I measure myself up against other people. Maybe if I truly loved myself the way God does, then I would see myself in his eyes instead of everyone else's eyes and see how far I have come and what I have accomplished despite the odds against me. But, that is a journey in itself. Sometimes the road is very long and you can't see the end.
Well, it comes down to does this God in heaven care about us and actually exist to love us? Well, then we would be grateful and then it would be much easier to love others. I had the most awesome confession once with a dear youngish mexican priest that you could tell was very humble and holy and close to God. (Apparantly he used to be a chief of police and a court judge who was not satisfied with life as he always felt in his heart he wanted to serve God as a priest.) He said if we see everyone as our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ who are just people like us, that God loves the same as us, it would not be hard to love them at all. Or to forgive and not judge.
You know by now, I love song links, so here are some from youtube ("Who am I" and "You Never Let Go.") Not the same as live, but it is important to see the words.