Love and Self.

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“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,


3 thoughts on “Love and Self.

  1. I may be ashamed of something wrong that I do, but I know there was a reason, I make excuses for myself, not to okay my actions, but just to be fair, if I had a headache or if you were the 30th person who made that same remark, or if it’s past my bedtime, or if I’m in a hurry…you see…then it makes sense that I could be a reasonable person doing some unreasonable thing.
    In the same way, we should cut our neighbor the same sort of slack. At least.
    He gets headaches, too.
    He might not be actually evil, but just acting the part because of invisible circumstances. And if I’m not checking to see if he’s okay, but rather ticking him off my list of acceptable people, I’m not loving.
    There once was a man who showed up in an emergency room, reeling around like a drunk and almost was ignored except for one nurse who checked him out a bit and noticed he didn’t smell of alcohol and was having a blood sugar shock reaction and saved his life.
    I’d want that done for me.
    In fact, it’s all about doing as you’d be done to. Right?

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