“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law? 37) Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38) is the first and greatest commandment.…” Matthew 22:37
I have come to understand in order for me to obey the greatest commandment ever I need to love myself! Yes, love myself. I have lassoed this command by understanding the second command of importance. “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
Have I listened to my heart recently? What is it telling me? Do I have an open, and seeking heart that is willing to listen, hear, and acknowledge the joyful, beautiful, loving SOUL that I am? Do I love my neighbor as myself? Is this the water that floats my boat 🚣🏽of showing if I love the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and mind?
Would love to hear how you self-talk with your heart and show your beauty for others to enjoy. I know I have published Violette’s art before but this hearing heart surely keeps speaking to me. Listen in!💟🕊
13 thoughts on “Love me-💟 Love God💟”
Heart to Heart, face to face, eye to eye, hand to hand, thought to thought, action to action and what have we accomplished? Loving your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as I would have them do unto me, says the golden rule as I remember it.
I have friends that like foods that I don’t particularly like. I find those foods and share with them so they can enjoy their favorite delights. I love seeing fabric that I think makes another stand out like art on a wall. Most often they don’t see it that way so I nicely in my vocabulary agree with their comfort zone. It has to be more than eye appeal. It needs comfort zones for weaknesses I may not know. It needs color for eyes that may not see color in ways that only shows in certain lights. And, beyond my strongest thoughts of good for another there may be a wound so painful that wall art of museum beauty may turn the emotions to remembrance of pain and shame. The thought to thought has now turned to thought for thought and action for and not to. How did Jesus handle this so well I often ask mysel? I think He told a parable, a story and let another find their place, their healing in the story. Jesus did this for me and He is a great mentor for me and my understanding of 101 of life, love Him above all else with all my heart, soul and mind and then and only then does the second commandment give rise to healing, peace, joy, love and HOPE to my neighbor………
“Heart to Heart, face to face, eye to eye, hand to hand, thought to thought, action to action and what have we accomplished? Loving your neighbor as yourself.” What a profound and creative way, Sara, to really explain ‘‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39’. For me, it is like someone built scaffolding around a very high building of ‘love’ so it could be scaled in steps, rather than just standing at the base of it and looking up and thinking ethereal thoughts reaching the top.
I guess because I am a hands-on person and learner, I particularly liked the example,”I have friends that like foods that I don’t particularly like. I find those foods and share with them so they can enjoy their favorite delights.” It was very understandable and gave me a tangible perspective on Matthew 22:39.
“Do unto others “…and ‘Heart to Heart” brings Sara’s blog question “Have I listened to my heart recently? What is it telling me? ” down to earth for me because she made a two way connection …real ways to show love and thus love yourself.
It also reminded me of something from a book I was reading the other night by Barbara Brown Taylor, “An Altar in the World”. The chapter was about living with purpose, but a part of a sentence that struck me was, “…doing it is one way to learn what it means to become more fully human as you press beyond being good to being good for something…
Thanks, Sara, for a great lesson on applying the Golden Rule as well as telling us how Jesus did it: “I think He told a parable, a story and let another find their place, their healing in the story. “
Debi, if I remember the story in the book you are reading I think she gave an example of how she lived with purpose. When she was a high rolling minister, she gave directives to help feed the poor. They would spend the night in the shelter to care for and feed. She discovered she needed to go and see and understand what she was asking others to do. Her real life story began when she became the one that spent the night and cared for the homeless. Not a beautiful part of the story in reading her words of a night on duty but it was and is a restorer of a soul to read and hear how lives are truly changed. Her life story of spreading her wings over the homeless, lonely and poor became a handbook for many of us to understand that loving ourselves is a deep well that draws ink as needed.
Did I get the story right from the book Debi? Been years since I read but the storyline remains just as the story of Mother Theresa.
“Did I get the story right from the book Debi? Been years since I read but the storyline remains just as the story of Mother Theresa.”
Yes, Sara, you got the story right and it was in that book. She even said, relating to that story and experience, that it made her think of Mother Theresa also.
Interesting how a story remains years after the book title and author fades. I read another strange story this morning and thought of this. Story tellers share heart stories to give us a window to think on God unending love for each of us.
As Tammy would say, read along with me:
“I’LL NEVER FORGET a story I heard from a woman at a retreat some years ago. It has become for me a profound metaphor of God’s incarnation in Jesus and also of God’s sharing our pain right now,
The woman told us that she had brought home from the animal shelter a young dog abused by former owners. The dog was especially terrified by water. Perhaps someone had tried to drown him. Eventually, of course, he had to be washed thoroughly, especially after running in thickets, picking up insects, and bleeding from thorns.
When she put the dog into the tub of water, he screamed, struggled, and scratched her in his terror. Her whole heart hurt for him. She could only do one thing.
She climbed into the dirty, bloody bathwater with him. Some of the blood in the water came from her own scratches. There she sat close to him, holding him in her arms, stroking him until his panic subsided. Then, still in the bathwater with him, she began to cleanse him – very gently.
This is the story of God’s heart, and these are the acts of God’s hands right now as we move through our journey of mourning.”
– Flora Slosson Wuellner
Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey
“I have come to understand in order for me to obey the greatest commandment ever I need to love myself! Yes, love myself. I have lassoed this command by understanding the second command of importance. “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39”
Is it just me or does it seem easy, at times to love ourself? I don’t have a problem making sure I have clothes, jewelry, shoes, basic needs of life, etc. or whatever seems to make me feel loved? But when I read here that we must love our neighbor as our selves, it stops me in my tracks. I do need to take a listen into my wicked heart to see if it is telling me “to love my neighbor as myself?” Loving a neighbor as myself can seem like a “tall order”, when there may be wounds like Sara mentioned above?
“Would love to hear how you self-talk with your heart and show your beauty for others to enjoy.” : “Tammy, you are loved by the Creator of the universe! You have accepted Him as your personal Savior and He wants you to be His hands and feet to show His love for others. Any obstacle that you allow to be in the way, keeps you from obeying the greatest commandment He gave us. Heavenly Father, I ask You to help me listen to a heart that focuses on You and Your will. In Jesus name, Amen”.
Tammy writes; “Is it just me or does it seem easy, at times to love ourself? I don’t have a problem making sure I have clothes, jewelry, shoes, basic needs of life, etc. or whatever seems to make me feel loved? But when I read here that we must love our neighbor as our selves, it stops me in my tracts.”
My thoughts, I think it great to dress in those things that give you joy for your day, in work and play, Now, how do we drop raindrops of JOY to those that the Holy Spirit allows to cross our paths. They may not find a nice red pair of shoes as exciting as I at the moment. Maybe, a word of wisdom, an ear and voice to help solve a difficult problem. What about a reading from a book that offers hope in the midst of their hurt. What about a song, a ride, a card or a call.
Do I want a rooster when all I need is one fried chicken leg? On the issue of wearing our love and self care…do I need it so others will stop and tell me how great I look? OK, fair enough, I must have a deep need that screams for love. I think it has been said much better than my words, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” Mark 8:36 Lot of fair questions and we search out the answers that assures us that our soul is feeling the love.
Great insights in our creative inner man as we garnish our thoughts and put the neon lights on and understand the daily renewal for ourselves and others…….
2 Corinthians 4:16, ”
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
How often I have heard that verse of Scripture, read it, prayed it at various times in my Christian walk!! Suddenly, Sara’s writings here, inspired in me…….this thought….what if I reversed it for a moment? What if I loved myself the way I love my neighbor?? Would there be the pampering, the extra provisions that I afford myself….the little luxuries, the little extras, the extra attention to my creature comfort of shelter, transportation, meals, etc. I don’t think so!!! I wonder what my ”opinion of me’’ would be concerning the love of God from the ‘’the neighbor’s condition ? Would there be enough evidence there to convict me of loving myself in the same way I love my neighbor? I will have to sort that all out. It might take all eternity!!
MG, in using your math equation, suppose we ask, what if I love my neighbor better than myself? At times we treat our neighbors with a smile and hearty greeting while we kick ourself with a frown and negative talk against ourselves and God. All to often we wear a love mask for others while sporting a heart with a dislike for our body shape, slow in mind, envy for fame and money and maybe breaking the Ten Commandements.
Loving God with our ALL is a big one, don’t you think?
Sara, what a moving story you shared above about the abused dog and the person who loved enough to do what it took to calm the dog’s fears, linking this to “God unending love for each of us.”
I can see as you share these and other stories more about what you meant when you said regarding Jesus, “He told a parable, a story and let another find their place, their healing in the story.”
Debi, In thinking of the parables/stories of Jesus I find they speak to my living in community. They speak to the first and second greatest commandments which are the subject/window of this blog. Love God and love your neighbor. Stories tell us the hows and whys of living in the Shadow of the Almighty. Just writing in response to our community sharing within this blog I am reminded of a another great story, “The Shadow of the Almighty” that gives us reason to seek out story. If one hasn’t read they might enjoy this for a summer read:
“The Shadow of the Almighty is one of the great missionary stories of modern times. It is the life and testament of Jim Elliot, as missionary stories of modern times. It is the life and testament of Jim Elliot, as told by Elliot’s widow, author and evangelist Elisabeth Elliot Gren. Shadow of the Almighty is the true account of Elliot’s martyrdom, along with four fellow missionaries, at the hands of Ecuador’s Huaorani Indians. About this important and enlightening book, Eugenia Price writes, “It proves that Jesus Christ will bring bright creativity out of any shadow which might fall across any life and any love.” A story that has inspired Christian readers for more than half a century, it poignantly recounts a tragic event that was presented from Huaorani perspective in the 2006 feature motion picture, End of the Spear.” Amazon.
Another storyteller that inspires me to be a “good-doer” when Jesus knocks on my heart’s door comes from Dorothy Day as she concluded her 1952 autobiography by saying, “We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
Sara, in the sequel or prequel….not sure which came first from Elisabeth Elliot Gren….THROUGH GATES OF SPLENDOR….a true account of her valiant decision that after her husband Jim and his fellow missionaries had been martyred by the native Auca Indians in the jungles of Ecuador she took her young daughter and returned to that very place and ministered to her husband’s murderers …..loving them and bringing them the Gospel and to Jesus Christ through God’s love and inexplicable forgiveness. That kind of love has its origins in the sacrificial life of the ”Cross Life”.
Do I love my neighbor as myself to the extent that Elisabeth showed? Oh my!
Would I even venture into a muddy water bath with an abused dog? Oh my!
Time for ”back to the drawing board” or maybe James’ mirror, if I would even dare glance at my reflection for fear of conviction.
It might Well take an eternity! Dear Father , I pray, not!
MG, as I often say, we at times see ourselves in another’s story.
The scriptures tell us to “Cast all our anxiety on God because he cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7). The key word here is all—not only the big stuff, but also the smallest detail. Sometimes a story fills us with worry and anxiety thinking, not me! And, it’s not us to live their story but it may surrender a bit of courage for a new Mom to change another diaper when her nerves are frayed. A man about to lose his job trying to learn the new and age issues are eroding his tools. A chronic pain that depresses the get up and go. As we know often a persons story lays in wait for compassion to spark one’s courage. That’s the beauty of sharing story! 🌺🙇💑👭👬👫