The You in Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 63:1-8(9-11), 98; (Morning)
Psalm 103 (Evening)
Haggai 1:1-2:9
Acts 18:24-19:7
Luke 10:25-37

The You in Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself

Today’s appointed Gospel is the parable of the Good Samaritan. A story which I would guess that most of us have heard discussed and studied time and time again.

Recently I was listening to a recent episode of author and theologian Rob Bell’s podcast The Robcast. He took on exploring the mandate of loving God and loving neighbor as yourself in a way that I had never heard before, focusing on “as yourself.” It shouldn’t have been a novel idea, but I felt convicted.

Maybe you have heard something like: you can’t give someone a drink if your cup is empty. Or you’ve been on an airplane where the flight attendant has reminded you to put your own oxygen mask on first. Or you’ve been told you can’t feed others unless you feed yourself. The point is – in order to care for others to your fullest ability, you’ve got to take care of yourself.

The greatest law is “You shall love the lord your God with all your heath, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

Those last two words are there because they are important. They bring a layer of meaning to this law. You can’t love your neighbor fully and authentically if you do not first love yourself fully and authentically. If you have conditions for self love, you will have conditions for neighbor love.

I invite you to take a moment today and do something that expresses your love for yourself.

Written by Samantha Haycock; Chaplain – St. Martin’s University Center

Samantha has a passion for spreading Jesus’ call for social justice, and she helps people to make connections between their daily and spiritual lives so that they can bring their whole and authentic selves to the world.

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