“You are precious simply because you are. You were born that way. To see that, and to be grasped by the reality of it, is to love.
Experience seems to indicate that harmonious relations are possible only when that attitude is maintained. This universal law has been stated in many ways – by the Jews as a simple and direct command of God, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ The clause, ‘as thyself,’ correctly implies that ‘love of self’ is innate. Every person senses instinctively the priceless nature of his own being, and reacts reflexively to preserve it against any threat.
More specifically, each of us is automatically ‘defensive’ in the face of perceived rejection. To be ignored as though I did not exist, or to be treated as though I were worthless, is repulsive. Instinctively, spontaneously, I react to affirm the priceless nature of my own being by becoming angry and lashing back or, feeling very hurt, by withdrawing within some protective shell to safeguard as best I can the treasured ‘me’ I know I am.
But my reaction to being ignored or rejected has also a second purpose: to demand by angry words or pouting that others recognize the preciousness of the self I am, and respond accordingly. Such demands fail because in making my demand, I reject and ignore the very persons I want to love me; and once horns are locked in that way, the only solution is for one or the other of us (or both) to adopt an attitude of love – to see and affirm the other to be as precious as I am, no matter what his performance.
I have never met a human being who did not have similar spiritual reflexes. Because to love one’s self is a ‘built-in reflex.’ Each of us was created that way.”
-Dr. Frank Kimper
Claremont, CA, School of Theology
“Living faith includes a simultaneous awareness of: God’s grace, besetting evils, deep need, and indwelling radiance.
‘You are merciful,’ ‘I am the chief of sinners,’ ‘That hurts,’ ‘Have mercy,’ and ‘I am Yours’ go well together.”
It were an easy thing to be a Christian,
if religion stood only in a few outward works and duties,
But to take the soul to task,
and to deal roundly with our own hearts,
and to let conscience have its full work,
and to bring the soul into spiritual subjection unto God,
This is not so easy matter,
because the soul out of self-love is loath to enter into itself,
lest it should have other thoughts of itself than it would have.
“So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…”
– Hebrews 6:17-20 ESV
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving
“But when God gets ready to get to you – I don’t care how dark the night; I don’t care how distant the location; I don’t care how dangerous the circumstances – When He gets ready to come to you, He doesn’t need to hire a boat to join you in the process and move at the same speed that you’re moving at to resolve the conflict. He has the advantage of being able to walk on top of what is threatening to take you under.
I’m talking about your God, the water-walking God. I’m talking about Jesus, who walks on the stuff you’re about to drown in.”
-Bishop T.D. Jakes
“When I go down to the grave, I can say, like so many others, ‘I have finished my day’s work;’ but I cannot say, ‘I have finished my life.’ My day’s work will begin again next morning. My tomb is not a blind alley, it is a thoroughfare; it closes with the twilight to open with the dawn.”?-Victor Hugo ?
“The central fact in every true Christian life is a personal friendship with Jesus. [We are] called to follow him, to leave all and cleave to him, to believe on him, to trust him, to love him, to obey him; and the result [is] the transformation of [our] lives into his own beauty…
No good man’s money is ever worth so much as his love. Certainly the greatest honor of this earth, greater than rank or station or wealth, is the friendship of Jesus Christ. And this honor is within the reach of every one. ‘Henceforth I call you not servants ? I have called you friends.’ ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.'”
– J.R. Miller, Personal Friendships of Jesus (1897)
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth….You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world….Shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-14, 16 MSG)
“Bravo, God, bravo!
Gods and all angels shout, ‘Encore!’
In awe before the glory,
in awe before God’s visible power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your best to honor him!
God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness-
God, across the flood waters.
God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.
God’s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.
The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.
God’s thunder spits fire.
God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.
God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing A wild dance, whirling;
the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees-
we call out, “Glory!”
Above the floodwaters is God’s throne from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.
God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.”
? Psalm 29:1-11