“Getting there (extraordinary experiences with God), just like getting to love or anything else that’s wonderful in this life, is in the dailies. It’s back here in the little things we do. That is how we practice kindness towards ourselves — in the dailies.”- John Eldredge
“The second is equally important; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”- Mark 12:31 (NLT)
John Eldredge concludes Chapter 5 of Get Your Life Back with a discussion of Mark 12:31. First, John sees Jesus’ matter-of-fact comparison as one of His brilliant exposes. Because we quickly realize that we’d be poor neighbors if we truly treated our neighbors as we typically treat ourselves. Consequently, we don’t want to admit this difficult truth: you’ll end up treating everyone else’s heart the way you treat your own.
Yet, we squirm at that thought. For example, I counter that I’m much more patient with the children I teach than with myself. Certainly, John observes, that may occur in the short-term. But over time impatience begins to show itself. Furthermore, most of the time we’re oblivious of how we treat our own heart. Our ‘way’ with ourselves = the norm.
However, the author counsels, amazing, wild, or over the top experiences fail to sustain our quest for more of God. In fact, John find the concept of needing such experiences of God untrue, unhelpful, and immensely unkind. Instead, John exhorts:
“We do need more of God, much more. Little sips between long droughts will not sustain us. We need more of God . . . everywhere in our lives. But when you live in a culture of the incessant upgrade of everything, the sensational, it gives the impression that if you’re going to have a deeper, richer, amazing experience of God, it’s going to have to come in some sensational way. I have some wonderful news for you: Nope. Not even close. Life is built on the dailies.”
Today’s question: In what little ways do you practice kindness to yourself? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The vessel God fills – your soul”