‘Love your neighbour as yourself’

I’ve just been reading yet another of those seemingly endless and interminable articles in the ‘Christian’ media on ‘why it is so hard to love ourselves . . .’, and consequently teaching us to learn to do so, in the hope that eventually we might love ourselves and then love our neighbours . . .

Brothers and sisters, heaven cannot wait.

Actually, with one or two exceptions, we all love ourselves and to a point where perhaps we have lost the plot – and as witness I cite the innumerable blog posts etc. cited above

 

So just to make it clear

Love your neighbour as yourself

Simple

 

I give an example

Do we have enough food to eat today?

Do we know of anyone who doesn’t?

Share our bread with them

 

Again

Do we have enough clothes to keep you warm and protected from the elements?

Do we know of anyone who doesn’t?

Share our clothes with them

 

Again

Do we have sufficient money etc to live in a house that is warm?

Do we know anyone who doesn’t?

Share what we have with them so that they also may be warm – indeed we might even welcome them into the warmth of our house – it will cost nothing – we may even find new friends and thus break the cycle of our narcissitic isolation which leads to the sort of articles we waste our time writing and reading.

 

You see, we love ourselves enough to make sure that we take care of our basic needs – this is the embodied understanding of love which the entire Scripture points us to in Christ who loves us in the flesh,  by the giving of his body.

Loving ourselves involves taking care of our physical needs – as St Paul puts it  in an aside ‘For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it’. By and large, we love ourselves plenty. Indeed many if not most of us have ‘ample goods laid up for many years’. (Luke 12 vs 19)

We have food and clothes and warmth for today, and tomorrow, and day after day after  day – we love ourselves so much, we even have planned for years down the line . . .

Our problem is not that we do not love ourselves, it is that our self love has blinded us to our neighbour  (Luke 16:19-31)

 

The irony of all this is that if we obeyed Christ in this regard – shared our bread with the poor etc. we may well enter into a way of Life in which our narcissitic obsession with self acceptance became nothing more than a dream that fades from our memories as the light shines into the darkness

 

. . . and pray for me, a sinner also

 

 

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