Recently, God did something for me!! He took a sermon from our dear pastor and revealed something truly beautiful! Pastor Billy was speaking on the rich man and the leper regarding the chasm between the two. Then he mentioned that the leper was sitting in the seat of honor, to the right hand of the host. I closed my eyes to let it sink in, then all the sudden I saw the image of “The Final Supper” become so realistic in my mind. There in the seat of honor was…JOHN, the disciple whom Jesus loves. While I could not say with any certainty how he came to that seat, I do want to share what this meant to me. This little phrase is another declaration for your holy rumination.
A few little things to set context to my tiny revelation: 1st, the Book of John is often referred to as the “love chapter”. It is the gospel that reveals so much about love and life. 2nd, it is the gospel that tells us how much God loves us! 3rd, in this book, John tell us a little more about certain stories with intimate details. But 4th and finally, because I don’t want you to miss this little golden nugget….HE REFERS TO HIMSELF AS THE ONE WHOM JESUS LOVES!!! He loved himself the way which God loves him! He reminded himself often that he was loved by Jesus. So much so, that others would say the same about him…”You know the one, the one whom Jesus loves. Yeah, that’s him.” I can hear it now!
You might be thinking oh that’s nice and really sweet. But how does that apply to my ruminating thoughts on how I see others and especially myself? Here it is….
I am going to look in the mirror and at least once a day remind myself that Jesus loves me. I am going to say it aloud, “I am the one whom Jesus loves!” When someone else says something negative or untrue about me, I will respond with, “I am the one whom Jesus loves.” This will certainly help my self-talk all while giving me a Holy Rumination! I will continue to use Philippians 4:8 as it applies in situations, only now I will include it in my self-talk.
How will this help how I will see others? You have heard the quote that hurt people, hurt people, right? They do!! People who have a poor self image also seem to do the same. They often treat others with distain or harshness. It is difficult to love others if you don’t love yourself. And it is even harder to receive love from others if you don’t love yourself. You have convinced yourself for too long that you are not good enough and that you don’t deserve the good that comes to you. When you love others, you deserved to be loved back, right?! Yes, indeed you do! If you love yourself, it helps others feel free to express their love to you! Learning to love yourself is likely the most vulnerable you could ever be alone. But if you can’t be vulnerable to yourself while alone, how will you ever be vulnerable with others?
I believe that John understood just how much Jesus loved him that he made sure everyone knew it too. I don’t believe it came from a warped sense of self, but instead it fueled how he viewed himself! If you know that God loved you so much that He sent His one and only son so that you would have everlasting life, then you will feel the impact of that love! That is the kind of love that transforms someone, cleanses, purifies, and reveals the true nature of our God! The Bible tells us that people will know we are Christians by our love. I also think that people will see us as loveable when we love ourselves.
The first two greatest commands sum it up perfectly and far better than I ever could!
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:36-40