1 Corinthians 13:1-3
[Love Is the Greatest] If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. (NLT)
Isn’t this key. To love others. We are called to love others. To love the unloved, the unloveable, friends, enemies – everyone.
In the secular world we are told to build our self esteem, to personally develop, to love ourselves, to take time for ourselves but as Christians that is not asked of us. Why not?
Because if we are truly in relationship with God, that love, that self love is a given and then it is not important. To give is important, to serve is important, to build others up is important. Time for God, time for others and in doing that, in taking time to do that the self love is there. Because we are loved by the most important person in our lives – God.
For many years I didn’t look in mirrors because I hated, detested, that person, that person I had become, who had been given the beautiful gift of hope years before and discarded it like a sweet wrapper out of the window of a car. I wanted it back but I didn’t know how to get it, I didn’t know it was right next to me all the time waiting for me to ask.
I can look in mirrors now, I can see the scars on my face and body caused by this self loathing and self hate and I look with compassion at that person that felt the need to do that. I feel accepted, and in that acceptance I have let go of all those burdens that weighed me down, let them go as if they were merely sweet wrappers. In human terms, I know I will never be accepted by one and all, and perhaps only by a few, and that’s okay, I still love everyone, I love what the person can become, and I can love something, something that I admire in that person regardless of how they treat me. In an unhealed state we seek people out who will do us wrong, we want to be the victim, we hold onto past hurts, twisting them until the taste make us hurl.
The love we have from God is the greatest gift, a gift that can and should be shared, not in pity or piety but because to do otherwise would make us hurl.
If we don’t love we gain nothing, if we love we gain EVERYTHING.