Google+ 07/08/13 Love Your Neighbor as Yourself!

Mark 12:30-32

 

"And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength." The second is equally important: "Love your neighbor as yourself.

No other commandment is greater than these.”

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher.

You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other."

 

Love your neighbor as yourself.  How many times have we read, listened, or quoted this verse?  For me, this is another Christian paradox that we simply misunderstand.  Let's examine the "yourself" part first.  Because I deal with lots of performing artists in my ministry, I see lots of insecurities.  If you are not in the performing arts community, let me share with you that many actors and musicians are not very comfortable in their own God-given skin.  There is good reason for this.  Performing artists are held to a standard that no one else is subjected to, on any level.  Professional baseball players are considered great hitters if they maintain a .300 average.  NFL quarterbacks are proclaimed as gifted if they can achieve a 50% pass-completion ratio.  Students are told that they are "average" if they maintain a 2.0 grade point average.  When was the last time anyone would allow even one missed note in the National Anthem at any athletic event, professional or amateur?  During last year's Super Bowl, the news media spent three days discussing Alicia Key's tempo of the National Anthem and only one day discussing the athletic results!  Joe Flaco was the one that got to go to Disney World!   It is no wonder that musicians and actors are neurotic!!!  I have discovered that self-confidence only comes from one source.  God created each of us as unique creatures and it is His love for us that makes us secure.  Never was this better illustrated than in Mark's quote of Jesus in our Scripture today.  Several years ago in doing motivational clinics for teenagers, I summed it up this way:  "Don't try to get me to love you if you don't love yourself."  As we can recognize, my exclamation to over 250,000 teenagers was simply a modern-day adaption of a very old Bible verse!  Jesus knew that we couldn't love anybody else if we didn't appreciate who God created each of us to be.  It is not conceit to love ourselves and appreciate who God made us, using all our talents for Him.  Remember God loves you as His precious child.  Remember that I love each of you.  So today, feel free to love your neighbor as yourself!