To Love is hard; To Love oneself is harder

Of the two commandments that Jesus claimed to be of utmost importance, in both, he emphasized love. While to "love your neighbor as yourself" can be hard because of the myriad personalities in this world, what happens when the opposite is difficult? What happens to us, and the administration of grace, when it is harder to love yourself than to love others? In this case, I'm not talking about respecting yourself, caring for your body, or any of the other ways we can neglect ourselves. I'm talking about the ways we are cruel to our own thoughts, expect perfection, and demand immediate results in a way that we would never expect from others. How we deny grace to ourselves when we would shower it on others.

I think this line of the Bible can often be construed as only an outward administration of truth and grace. Logically, we understand that both need to be delivered in equal measure, and at appropriate times. However, when we turn this verse around, we realize that the opposite is also true. We love others because we know it is what God wants; we forget He wants us to love ourselves in the same way. He desires for us to speak truth into ourselves and forgive ourselves when our minds wander; when we feel far from Him and far from what is right.

And we combat this tendency to beat ourselves up with truth. We write out what is wrong, pray with candid earnestness, read the Bible diligently, and wait. We hold off on action until we feel right with God. We hold back from making a move until we have learned what the Bible tells us is the next step. We do not get mad that our minds have not caught up to God's mind yet. We administer grace day by day to our own hearts and minds; we trust that God will change our thoughts to align with His. So we speak truth, administer grace, and love; we love ourselves like we try to love others. And we remind ourselves that we, as much as anyone else, deserve it.

Love, Liz