Heard at Café: 10/28/14

How do you treat yourself? What is love? Why do you treat yourself well? Poorly? Do you love yourself? Is that important? In this book of the Bible called Matthew, there's this thing Christians are told to do. It's pretty famous. Most people have heard of it. Here's the story: some people asked Jesus, essentially, what are we supposed to do in life--what's the most important thing we are supposed to do if we consider ourselves followers of you? Easy question, right? He says you should love God and love others as yourself. Interesting. People usually take that excerpt and turn it into two things: loving God and loving people. But what about that part that says as yourself? My question is when did Christians start leaving that out? Have you started leaving that out? Think about it, if you loved people like you love yourself at times, how would other people feel? Probably not good. In a world of terrible grades, comparison around every corner, and negative self-talk, I think it's more important than ever to remember we have been told to love ourselves. and love ourselves well. Its so crucial. Why do we need to love ourselves? I think it helps us receive love better. I think it helps us give love selflessly, not expecting anything in return. Whether you get behind this Jesus guy or not, I think we can all agree those are good things to strive for. For you Jesus following people out there, I think another reason to love ourselves is because God loved us first. He loved us first while we were still laying in dirt surrounded by all of the things we messed up, and the hurt we caused ourselves and others. Jesus took on all of the things we messed up, all of the hurt, and gave himself up--died for us. He did this so that he could make the impossible possible; he made a way for things to be right again--the way God intended them to be. He covered all of the things you've ever done, all of the things you are and ever were ashamed of, all of it. It's all so far gone. That's how much he loved us. And that made a way for us to love ourselves and to love others in ways that seem impossible. Listen guys, its possible. Let's embrace that. Let's accept what God has done for us and start loving ourselves. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to have other people to make you whole. You don't have to be ashamed. It's not easy. It's hard. And it's probably messy, like most things in life are. But let's together start this journey. And start with the negative thoughts. Try these instead: you are beautiful. You are lovely. You are whole. You are so lovable. It's possible to believe these things. They are so true.

"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 might detest something which I have done. Nevertheless, I do not cease to love myself... You dislike what you have done, but you don't cease to love yourself... Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." -CS Lewis