As Yourself

(2-minute read)

This morning I remembered an event from when our daughter Debi was very young. I don’t know exactly how old she was. She had not started school yet but was old enough to be learning the alphabet. I came home one day to her explaining how wonderful the letter Q was. There was a party at our house one weekend. There were a lot of adults and a lot of children. Towards the end of the party, I noticed that one of the children had drawn with a crayon on the living room wall. It was upsetting that someone would do that. I knew all these kids and could not imagine them doing it. But then, there it was at the bottom of the drawing in the right-hand corner. She had signed her work with the letter Q. I couldn’t help but laugh.

I waited for our guests to leave and began walking toward Debi’s room to correct her. Halfway down the hall, I realized I couldn’t do it without at least smiling, and that wasn’t going to work. I told my wife, Jo, she would have to do it. Instead of answering, she just burst into laughter. We discussed how proud we were as parents that our daughter could draw such a perfectly formed Q. Eventually, we composed ourselves enough to tell our daughter not to do that again.

I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m a man who judges the people I love differently than everyone else. You would be correct to think that. Although, it was a great letter Q, and she had learned enough about art to know that the artist should sign their work.

The problem isn’t that I judge others differently than those I love. The problem is that I didn’t love enough others. Loving your neighbor as yourself is a part of not only Judaism and Christianity but every major religion. It’s a real thing, and you can’t even change religions to get out of it.

I always wondered why that verse had the words “as yourself.” It turns out that after years of counseling people and hearing their stories, most people I know don’t love themselves. They often don’t even like themselves. Before we are ever able to fix the love-your-neighbor problem, we have to fix the love-yourself problem.

We see everything that we do wrong. We then pile on an appropriate amount of judgment on all those wrong actions. We might even bring them up in our minds, rethink them from time to time, and then re-judge ourselves each time. We judge ourselves more harshly than we judge the people we love.

The enemy of love is the judgmental life.

6 responses to “As Yourself”

  1. That is a fresh take on this command- a perspective I’ve never heard before! What a wonderful illumination!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, the judgemental life!! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful post and very true really we judge ourselves very harshly! 👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Welcome. Do read my blog.😁

        Liked by 1 person

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