Thursday, November 13
Galatians 5 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Marianne Williamson wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. We are born to manifest the glory of God within us. It’s not just in some of us – it is in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
When we hear the admonition to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we often think about the call to love and serve neighbor. However, the admonition before the admonition is to love oneself. Love of self does not mean self-indulgence. It does not mean a focus on self to the exclusion of loving others. Yet, our beginning point is to know and love ourselves. Then, we are able to love others.
Questions for reflection:
How are you doing at loving yourself these days? Who encourages you to love yourself in order that you might love others? If there’s no quick answer to that question, whom might you seek out as a source of encouragement?