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December 8, 2019

As Yourself

One of the teachers of Jewish law asked Jesus what was the greatest of all the commandments. He responded that the most important was to remember that God is one, and to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength.

The second, Jesus said, was to love your neighbor as yourself.

For those who believe in God, loving God is fairly straightforward. Love for your fellow man is something that even those who don’t believe in God can support. Do unto others, we often say, as you’d have them do unto you. But that isn’t fully what the commandment Jesus stated asks—it’s says “as yourself.”

I see that “as yourself being read two possible ways”

  • Love your neighbor as you love yourself
  • Love your neighbor as if they were you

In either case, the question must be asked, “Do you love yourself?” For many, I imagine the way they treat others is precisely the way they treat themselves: harshly, critically, and with unforgiving disappointment. I don’t think that was the intended outcome.

Think about how you treat yourself. How much patience, love, acceptance, attention and encouragement do you give yourself?

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