Pride and Love

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Do you love yourself?

Not in the prideful or selfish ‘everything is about me’ kind of way. We all know that person in our life where literally everything goes back to them. They always have the best stories (no matter how true), always pick the restaurant for the group, or even the activity. Then if someone else has an idea they pout like a child. Yea, that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m not talking about the martyr or victim either. Those that tend to think everyone in the room is solely paying attention to them. Those that always think the conversation is about them – and every action, positive or negative, had something to do with them. No, I’m not talking about that person either.

But really, do you love yourself?

This is a really interesting concept for most of us. In our Community Group with The Bridge a few weeks ago one of the questions was, “What is something your are good at?” or “‘What are your gifted with?” In a room full of about 12 adults, no one answered for themselves. We all waited for someone else to say something about us.

I think we struggle to think positively about who we are because we are taught not to brag on ourselves. I think that’s a great teaching, in the aspect it keeps us from becoming super prideful in the wrong way, but it also hinders us in a true self evaluation.

So what do we do then, when faced with a teaching that says, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’   Or one like today’s Proverb, ‘To acquire wisdom is to love yourself.’

I have a hard time with these teachings because I get so focused on how to love other people. I focus on how to love my wife, or the people I lead in ministry, that I forget sometimes that faith is personal first. What I mean is that the reason we go and do the things we do in church, is because God first loved us. If we don’t first remember that God loves us and has a better life in store through the fullness of scripture, how can we go out and fully love others.

The best analogy I can think of at the moment is the oxygen mask on an airplane. What do they tell you? To first put on your mask so you can then assist those around you. Make sure you are taken care of first, then help your child or friend or elderly parent – you get the point.

I think the same is true when it comes to loving ourselves. If we don’t seek out wisdom, we don’t have wisdom to give. If we don’t feed ourselves, we won’t have the energy to help feed others. We can’t give so much of ourselves away, that we have none for us. We must first take care of ourselves, and then give from the overflow.

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