Summary: We know we should love others as we love ourselves, but how do we love ourselves? This message looks at connect with ourselves.
I was probably 9 or 10 when I first discovered Lego, as opposed to the soft plastic bricks that I had been playing with up to that time. Even though Lego had been around for 20 years it was only introduced in Canada in the early sixties. But even after I discovered the joys of Lego I didn’t realize that you could actually buy kits with instruction manuals to help you build them.
Which kind of seems like cheating to me.
In 1964 the first Lego kit was introduced and you could build a cowboy and pony.
Since then the sky has been the limit when it comes to Lego Kits, from most of the world’s great landmarks, think the London Bridge and Eiffel Tower right up to most of the Star Wars fleet. But the biggest kit that had ever been produced was the Taj Mahal set which contains almost 6,000 pieces.
Well move over Taj Mahal, early this month Lego released a new Millennium Falcon set which contains 7,541 pieces. And it can be yours for only 799.99 American. And Luke said it was a piece of junk.
And the reality is that what allows you to take a pile of randomly shaped, sized and coloured bricks and create sometime like the Taj Mahal or the Millennium Falcon is their ability to connect with one another.
This Fall our series at Cornerstone has been “Connect” and we’ve been looking at how we are to connect.
And so in week one we looked at how we were created to connect. To connect with God, to connect with creation and to connect with others.
Last week we went a little deeper in connecting with our creator and looked at how we connect by talking to God, by praising God, by listening to God and by trusting God.
This week I want to look at connecting with the created, that’s us.
When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment his answer is found in Mark 12:29-31 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 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 neighbour as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
And most of us are familiar with the concept of the greatest commandment, Love God and Love others. And most of us are familiar with the Golden Rule, not the one that says “He who has the gold makes the rules”, but the one that Jesus taught when he said Matthew 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
But the premise of both of these is the same, love others as you love yourself. So, at the core you first need to have a love for yourself. That almost seems wrong and selfish. Love ourselves? We are supposed to love our spouses, and love our children and love God and love others, we aren’t supposed to love ourselves. Or are we?
Because, can we really love others without loving ourselves?
Author Ayn Rand wrote “To say "I love you" one must know first how to say the "I".”
The reality is that you will only be able to love who you are when you finally connect with yourself.
The phrase “Know thyself” has been around for thousands of years, it’s been attributed to both Plato and Socrates, and it really doesn’t matter who said it first, the truth of the statement is that we each need to know who we are in order to connect. To connect with God and to connect with others begins with connecting with ourselves.
So to know ourselves we Need to Know that We Were Created by God This seems to be a reoccurring theme in my messages lately. To know ourselves is to know that we aren’t simply an accident or an oops. And that’s important, to know we were created to be here.
We not the result of a single cell creature that accidental evolved from the primordial sludge millions of years ago. Instead we are the creation of a loving creator.
3000 years ago David wrote in Psalm 139:13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
And maybe you find it difficult to celebrate how God created you. Seriously, I have a theory that when people with a healthy self-esteem look in the mirror their reaction is, “Meh, not bad.”
They are neither the ones who look in the mirror and hate what they see, nor the ones who think the one looking back at them is perfect. “Meh, not bad.” Unless it 4:30 on a Sunday morning, then it’s just scary.