Wednesday, January 12, 2011
LOVING ONESELF ALONE
After the Storm, Rocky Mountains, Colorado
I've known of people who couldn't get past aspects of their own lives that inhibited them from seeking God's love and forgiveness. I recall a conversation from one of Philip Yancy's books when he was ministering on the streets of Chicago. He was trying to get a young woman of the streets to attend a Sunday service. Her response made an impression on both Yancy and myself. She replied, "I already feel bad about myself. Those people would just make me feel worse!" I believe we must understand the frailty and vulnerability of the human condition and understand that God's grace is open to all, which can then begin the healing process for ourselves. Sometimes folks find it easier to love and forgive others rather than themselves. I've reviewed many self evaluations of associates that were much harsher on themselves than their peers or managers. We can be our most ardent critic and that can have a negative impact on our own lives. Self evaluations can be positive if viewed as constructive and a path to self improvement, but not perfection. Only one man ever walked this earth without sinning and we believe He was also God. All the rest of us are in the other category and everyone has their cross to bear, some heavier than others.
I've also come to a conclusion about the troubled Tucson shooter whose actions were abhorrent. It seems that this troubled young man may have been rejected by his Congresswoman during his first short meeting with her when his questioning may not have been understood. He was rejected by the military when he tried to join. He was ejected from community college and asked not to return without a mental clearance. His Internet postings indicate he was rejected by most of his advances to the opposite sex. This loner may not have been so mad at government as he was mad at the un accepting world in general, finally prompting an outburst at the world in general. These rejections absolutely do not justify this young man's actions and I'm no psychologist, but I suspect he had come to love himself even less.