Biblical Reflections on Loving Others (As Much As We Love Ourselves)

“Who you are on the inside matches who you are on the outside.”

Biblical Reflections on Loving Others (As Much As We Love Ourselves)

This has been my focus over the past couple of months (you may have seen me reference this quote in this newsletter – you can sign up for my free newsletter at the bottom of this post).

This phrase, inspired by Jen Hatmaker in her new book Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire sticks to my desktop on a sticky note where I see it each day.

It reminds me of a Biblical passage which says…

“…A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” (Matthew 13)

This passage teaches me to GO DEEP.

Right now, with the important work that is happening in our world on antiracism and policy reform… while there are DEEP necessary seeds being planted and fruit being produced… there is also much seed being thrown around via social media that is falling on the footpath. Falling on shallow soil. Quick to produce something but quick to wither away.

My question is, have we taken the time to go deep first? Is it necessary to go deep first (if you haven’t already)?

My intention is to go deep FIRST, and then wide.

I need for new seeds to be planted deeply within my heart and while I’m waiting for the new fruit to grow… I need to be learning, listening, and remaining open. I need to create space in my life for those who have already done the work, so that they can share THEIR fruit with me and the world.

I need for the bad weeds to be pulled so that new seed doesn’t grow up into the thorns of old and wither away right after it’s produced.

Even if you don’t believe in the Bible, can you see how this passage holds good teaching?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and how it’s related to the difference between urgent and important.

I want to do the important work. The work of going deep. Being close to those right in front of me. Learning. Reading books. Reviving the garden of my innermost parts/beliefs.

Urgent is anxious. Hurried. Rushed. Pressured.

Important goes deep. Has patience. Learns. Listens.

Deep first, then wide.

Old plants out, new soil in, so the new crop can produce thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much…

All of the Biblical parables about vines, crop, weeds, pruning that Jesus teaches are speaking to me more than ever these days as we’re living on a vineyard (literally) and I can see what he is talking about and experience it with my own eyes (and hands). He knew his gardening! His stories make sense.

My blog is not a Christian blog but it is a personal one. One where I aim to be the same on the outside as I am on the inside. A blog where YOU are welcome and called to be the same on the outside as you are on the inside, even if and especially if that looks different than me. You are welcome here; thank you for welcoming me into your inbox, too. There is room here. I embrace our differences.

The purpose of sharing these passages is not to make you believe what I believe. Rather, the purpose of sharing the passages from the Bible is to share an authentic part of myself and the lessons I am learning – this is similar to me sharing quotes and lessons from others texts I read, like the Jen Hatmaker inspired quote above. I feel safe to include these parts of myself with you because I know for certain that I would accept these parts of you too, even when and especially when your beliefs differ from mine. This is a space where you can share your beliefs and I can share mine, and we can be friends and show love to each other IN that. Because of that. Let’s let our uniquenesses connect us, not separate us.

As I was thinking about these passages, the lessons I’ve been learning, and the ways in which I want to grow and change… I’ve also been thinking about Self-Love Summer… the course I run every year with my friend Abby.

Well, this year, as Abby is enjoying motherhood and teaching (so happy for her), she has decided to step back from running SLS with me. So I’ll be running it on my own.

In a time where the world is collectively feeling so much racism, division, and hatred… I was conflicted. Is it important to run a course on self-love right now? Don’t we need more others-love? Do we need any more “self-love”?

With that conviction in mind (which I do think holds some truth) I began to reflect. I began to ask the question “Is this important? If so, why?”

And again… it took me to another Bible passage…

…’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” [These = love God and love people.] (Mark 12:31)

I thought about it more… if I am called to love my neighbor as myself, but do not truly love myself… what will my love for my neighbor look like? What will its capacity be? Will it go deep enough? Or will it just sit on the surface?

And it brings me to these questions…

Do you love yourself?

What would improve in your life and the way you are able to love others if you did love yourself (I’m talking deep-seeded love – the love that produces thirty, sixty, and one hundred times as much fruit. Not love that is quick to show up, but quick to disappear.).

In what ways would you be able to love others more, hear others more, and care for others more if you had deep love within you?

And I found its importance. The importance of self-love.

Self-love isn’t important simply because it helps us to love ourselves more. But self-love is important because we are able to love others to the capacity that we are able to love ourselves.

And thus… will be the focus of Self-Love Summer this year.

Love yourself so you can love others more.

Self-Love Summer this year will be about deep-seeded love for yourself.

We normally focus on things like summer BBQ’s, beach days, and how to wear a bikini comfortably…

But this year we’re going for the roots.

We’re pulling out the old roots. We’re clearing the weeds. We’re pouring new soil. And we’re going DEEP.

So that the fruit that this work produces in you this year will multiple by thirty, sixty, or one-hundred times.

If you would like to join me for the deeper work we’re doing in Self-Love Summer for the next 13-weeks, this is my invitation to you Paige.

We will be:

  • Clearing out old roots and shallow soil — the thoughts you have been taught to believe that are not producing love for yourself, or love for others
  • Pouring in NEW soil with weekly lessons, emails, coaching calls, and calls to action
  • Watching new fruit and love naturally GROW as we unlearn old stories and replace them with new ones

We will focus on the areas of intuitive eating, body image, food, relationships, etc… as well as self-compassion, how we treat others and ourselves…

Self-Love Summer welcomes every one of you. If you can safely say that more self-love would help you to be better at loving others (in your family, your community, and throughout the world) and you want that, come join us.

Self-Love Summer will run for the next 13-weeks starting this Monday the 22nd – the whole summer (3 months) – inside of The Growth Vault. You can join monthly or for one full year.

Not only will you get access to Self-Love Summer, but you will also be able to access all of my other courses like Finally Free, Authentically You, and several values-based workshops on goal setting, budgeting and saving, and routine planning.

I hope you’ll join me in The Growth Vault for the next 13-weeks of Self-Love Summer.

Either way, let’s ask ourselves: What is my current capacity to love others? Would it improve if I loved myself more?

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