The Greatest Commandments
"...love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...Love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:37-39 NIV
Let’s face it, we are all selfish. Even if we do not look directly and overtly selfish, deep down inside… it is true. We all want to be significant, decent looking, and happy. Then we find ourselves in a world of other people. These people are everywhere. And you know what? They are selfish, too. So how can we love others (our neighbors) well when we are all selfish?
What a question!
A broken pot can’t hold water or give water to quench another’s thirst. An empty well cannot produce water either, just like an empty gas tank cannot fuel a vehicle. So, it follows that our “empty selves” cannot love others well, if even at all.
The idea of loving myself well so that I could love others well became clear to me as I became a wife and a mother. When I was not rested it was more difficult to be patient and loving.
So, who was going to see to my rest? When I was hangry, I was not as patient and loving. So, who was going to get food into my stomach? When my soul was empty, I was not as patient and loving. So, who was going to feed and fill my soul? And who is in charge of me? And who can I blame?
Stop and reckon the fact that you are in charge of yourself, your responses. and your thoughts. Do you need to invest in yourself so that you can love others better? Do you need to put on your airplane safety mask first so that you can put the airplane safety mask of others, since you are alive and breathing?
There is a principle here. The principle of overflow.
From the YouVersion Bible devotional “Loving Yourself so You can Love Others Well” by Roxanne Parks. Printed with author’s permission.
Find more of her work at http://www.roxanneparks.com/home.html