Love Your Inner Me(s)

Is there an ideal that you profess to believe, but that–for reasons you cannot readily explain–are quite incapable of expressing? Perhaps it is something as simple as eating healthier or watching less television. Or perhaps it is something much needed in this world like living into a society where inclusiveness and equality are not just buzz words. Whatever it is, I invite you to listen to this attached message.

In the Christian tradition, we are challenged to love not only our neighbors, but our enemies as ourselves. In this sermon I invite the listeners to consider that perhaps the reason why this ideal is not more visible in the world is precisely because so few of us even know how to love ourselves.

If you look at nearly every business enterprise–save the militaristic ones–you will see this emerging pattern of incorporating the ideas of love and positive change into their messaging. In a recent talk, I joked about the marketing of some of the products that we see these days.

Have you seen these ads?

Maybelline “Looks of Love” mascara, “I’m lovin’ it” at McDonalds, and apparently Subarus are literally made out of Love now. I remember when cars used to be made out of metal and plastic and stuff. But not anymore. Now they are made out of love because everybody wants to be loved.

And I don’t even want to get started on the word Change. It’s not like how it used to be when everyone feared change and they had to be reminded that the only constant is change.

No, today change is just happening for change’s sake. Change is happening so fast now that you can buy a piece of technology in the morning and it will have an update by that evening. Clothes are going out of style while people are still in the store buying them. And if you look at the news, things are happening so fast you never know what’s about to change for better or for worse.

Change is definitely the word for the day. If I were in advertising right now, I’d try to get a contract with Maybelline, McDonald’s and, Subaru and I would try to sell them all on a cross promotion ad where I would fit in a slogan like, “I’m loving the look of change as I put on my mascara waiting for my McDonald’s in a Subaru. Because it is all love for a change.”

When I create content, my expressed purpose is to invite the readers and listener to consider other ways of looking at what may be considered a social norm. I am not declaring that what I present is wholly accurate, but that it is simply a piece of a larger puzzle. I learned recently that a person cannot have “common sense” by themselves. Rather, true “common sense” emerges from the collective wisdom of the peoples that make up the community.

I think we are starting to get this with some of the initiatives we see popping up. But I posit that as long as we foster a society where individuals devalue themselves or others, we will never fully live into a realm where true “common Sense” is possible. In other words, the value we place on ourselves, we will project into the world at large to our benefit or our peril.

In the Christian tradition that I study and try to practice, many of us give lip service to loving God, our neighbors, and our enemies as ourselves. Everyone knows that most of us don’t even come close and we’ve been marketing this teaching for about 2,000 years. Where I think we failed is on the loving ourselves part. What do you think? If you could be hired to love yourself for the sake of the world, do you think you’d be qualified?

Chime in with your comments and let’s turn this into a conversation.

2 replies »

  1. You said (I think it was you and not a quote):

    “…perhaps the reason why this ideal is not more visible in the world is precisely because so few of us even know how to love ourselves.”

    Have you considered just how wide a blind spot CONTEMPT actually creates? I am not talking about something that is a bit more complex than we are prepared for…. Not a bit more depth than we can handle… No… I am talking about choosing not to see the plain truth because we don’t want to. And the way contempt provides that blind spot in our frame of reference.

    Enemies naturally fall right into that blind spot – or if not…. we plainly see them and dread/hate/or find repugnant…

    This is an explanation that needs exploring, I think.

    Just wondering…



    • To answer this, I look to Hebrews 12:1,2 which talks about “The Race of Faith” in this way:

      “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

      The part that speaks most to me is the idea of Jesus “despising shame” because of the joy that was to come. We become shamed by accepting the judgments projected onto us. Out of this contempt is born–both internal and external.

      Jesus held shame of the world in contempt. How cool is that? That’s why I love this Guy so much. He is really real. Do you see what I mean? He saw the judgment against him as so worthless that he didn’t even resist it. We say some of us refuse to see the truth. We can’t refuse what we don’t see. In other words we see it and deny it. Jesus denies lies and encourages us to do the same.

      Love is truth.

      Liked by 1 person

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