“Jesus’ second great commandment implies that we will love others only to the extent that we love ourselves. The command might be better understood by putting the words “You will” in front of it: You will love your neighbor as yourself.
How thoroughly we have bought the lie that it is not okay to look after ourselves…We spend our days being stressed, insecure, angry, sullen, or numb with genteel denial. And in this condition we continue to tell ourselves that we can work, love, be productive, smile, help others, make a difference. But it’s all a sickening lie.
The way to make a difference in this world is to become what everyone else is not: happy and full of life. It’s not enough just to point the way; we must become the way, as Jesus was. He made it possible for us to have “the full measure of [His] joy” within us (John 17:13).
Why aren’t we filling up our tanks? Is it because we won’t admit we are empty? Are we so proud and neurotic that we cannot even believe that joy – real joy, irrepressibly bubbling over – is deservedly ours? Shutting ourselves off from this fullness, we have nothing to share with anyone else. Moreover, if we’re not filling up with joy ourselves, it’s guaranteed we’re taking it from others. We are robbing each other blind.”
Quote from Practicing the Presence of People by Mike Mason