“You are told to love your neighbour as yourself. How do you love yourself? When I look into my own mind, I find that I do not love myself by thinking myself a dear old chap or having affectionate feelings. I do not think that I love myself because I am particularly good, but just because I am myself and quite apart from my character. I might detest something which I have done. Nevertheless, I do not cease to love myself.
In other words, that definite distinction that Christians make between hating sin and loving the sinner is one that you have been making in your own case since you were born. You dislike what you have done, but you don’t cease to love yourself. You may even think that you ought to be hanged. You may even think that you ought to go to the Police and own up and be hanged. Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” ~C.S. Lewis (emphasis added)
He is right.
Even those of us who “hate ourselves,” really so love ourselves. We have only been deceived into believing some heinous Lie about ourselves. Our hatred really doesn’t lie in who we are, but something we perceive about ourselves, and a wish that it were different. We, in fact, have a steady wish for our own ultimate good, in whatever form we believe that to be.
Self-esteem. Self-loathing. Self-whatever. Notice what they are all centered on: Self.
Self. Self. Self. Self. Self.
I’m sick of the word. I am annoyed that it is a necessary part of language. If I could just forget myself for five seconds, and focus on a self apart from mine, I think I could get somewhere.
Just some thoughts I’ve had lately. What do you think it means to love your neighbor the same way you love yourself?
Grace & Peace,