Saturday, July 5, 2014

Narcissism Upside-Down

And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.   Matthew 22:39
The greatest commandment: love God.
Next: your neighbor.
In what manner? Like you love yourself.
girl-looking-in-mirrorWe’re each at the center of our own universe. It does actually all revolve around us. No matter where we go, there we are. Relatively speaking, we’re all ubiquitous to ourselves.
 I can’t make a single decision without wondering WWID: What Would I Do?
I can’t speak a single word without wondering: What would I say?
I can’t eat a single meal without consulting my appetites, or make a single purchase without considering my desires.
We know how to love ourselves. In fact, if we hate ourselves, we go against the very course of nature. “No one has ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it.” (Eph 5:29)
What if we loved our neighbors as we loved ourselves? What if we thought about how we would want to be treated before we did, said, thought, bought, or ate anything? What if I actually paid attention to those around me, so that I could know how to attend to their needs like I hope they would attend to mine? What if I stopped for someone broken down beside the interstate or picked up someone who was walking? Or bought a cup of coffee for a friend who was short on cash? Or bought a meal for a complete stranger, and then stayed to eat it with them?
Or spoke a soft word when wrath needed to be turned away? Or spoke a hard word when a hard word needed to be said? Or said “thank you” for the slightest blessing? Or praised someone for doing well, or praised someone for doing something mediocre? Or loved someone who is hard to love? Or loved an enemy? Or…? Or…? Or…?
Well then, I would be loving God by loving my neighbor, and loving my neighbor by remembering what it’s like to love myself.
Narcissism. Upside-Down.

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