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The Law of Love

We all love ourselves. Right?

               Even those of us who have a low self-esteem will abide by the creed: “me first, then everyone else”. Embedded into our broken human hearts is the idea that we are the most important being in the world; the center of the universe. After all, pride is at the root of original sin.

               Even more, we have taken Jesus’ words “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 3:21) and made them another excuse for self-worship. If I don’t love myself properly, then I can’t love everyone else. Satan has taken advantage of this and bound us up, stuck in front of the mirror, incapable of loving those in need because of how we feel about ourselves and our circumstances.

               As long as we wait to feel ready to preach the Good News of the Gospel, Satan will make sure we never do!

               What are we to do then? How did Jesus love self and others? This is what Ellen White says in the Desire of Ages: “It will be seen that the glory shinning in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which ‘seeketh no her own’ has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto.” (pg. 20).

               First, White tells us that God, in his plurality, is not self-centered but other-centered. In other words, the first person He thinks of is not Himself, but you! That is why He is love, not because He really enjoys looking at Himself in the mirror but because He breaths and walks and works for you. His life is driven by a desire to seek your best interest, to the point of emptying himself completely.

               He loves you to his own detriment.

               Pretty crazy, right?

               Second, White tells us that this other-centered living, this “law of self-renouncing love”, is “the law of life”. What this means is that living for others does not deplete you from life, it gives you more. Far from other-centeredness bringing about a disdain of self, it makes you more loving and more lovable. Why? Because you were created to give what you received, to be a channel through which your Creator would love other creatures. As such, you would be blessed by being in intimate contact and collaboration with God.

               In other words, the best way to love yourself is to love others.

               Instead of looking at the mirror, look around you!

               By the way, it is crazy to think that, as Ellen White concludes, your loving can make the unapproachable approachable. Through Jesus, and through you, people can come face to face with God himself. They can know the heart of God by how full of Him your heart is.

               Don’t pass this opportunity.

               Get out of the mirror, love others and live like Jesus.

PS: In the light of our nation’s current events, I simply wanted to add an encouragement: Don’t argue about how your brother tells you he is in pain. Listen to his heart, and care. This world will be ready to welcome Jesus one loving and just embrace at the time.