There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lent Day Twenty Nine - Complicating What Doesn't Need to be Complicated

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” -  Matthew 22:36-40

Seems easy enough, right?  Except Jesus makes a very large assumption.  He assumes I already love myself.  Unfortunately, that part has not always been so easy.  I have typically been my own worst critic.  Judging myself and my actions much more harshly than I would ever judge another. 

“How could I be so stupid?”
“If only I were thinner, younger, more patient, better educated….”
“I should keep my house cleaner, recycle more often, give more, do more, be more…”

And yet, Jesus is perfect.  He always knew exactly what He meant when He was talking.  So He couldn’t have made an incorrect assumption... could He?  Why would He assume I already loved myself enough to know how to love Him and love others.

I have often in the past heard preachers say during their sermons,  “God loves you just the way you are but He loves you too much to let you stay that way”.  Unfortunately what I heard was “you are still not good enough.”  But throughout this Lenten season, as I have drawn closer to God, and come to understand His perfect  and unconditional love, I realize that God would actually say “I love you just the way you are. Period.”

And only by coming to that realization have I found the courage to reject the messages I used to believe were true and focus on the only message that matters…Love God and love my neighbor as myself. Period.


  1. I really needed to read this today...I don't think it's a coincidence that I had this opportunity to visit you here today. I have struggled all of my life to love myself...hell to even just like myself has been difficult....over the years since becoming a believer, God has helped me a lot in this area but I still have a long ways to go...I am really struggling right now to stay above water...honestly some days it feels like I am going to drown...but God has a way of sending his angels just when I am in the most need...he brings me his messages of hope and love and that yes, even now, I am loved by him just the way I am...this is still mind blowing to me but so amazing...thank you Deborah for sharing your journey and blessing me in this moment. XX

  2. Lori, Its so good to hear from you! I know you are struggling...and I know you don't like to "spew negativity" as you put it in your last blog entry but I wonder if it would help you to get out some of your emotions. Don't worry about what others think. Sometimes when I blog I am careful of what I say, but then I lose the point of this be real, to find my way, to find myself. I would love for you to continue to share your journey, the good the bad and the ugly...