We are vain people; let’s face it, we put ourselves above others all the time. This is contrary to what Jesus taught. Paul writes in Ecclesiastes, “The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is vanity (5:10).” This also applies to the lover of self. The more we love ourselves, the less we care for others.
I want this to change! I want our society to change from a bunch of me firsts, to a group of caring, benevolent helpers. I want our society to change from one of acquisition to one of giving to those in need. Our inability to recognize and love those who have been cast aside by society leads to our inability to recognize God within us.
We are a group of self-loving individuals who put our own needs above others; we subconsciously look for others to praise us and what we have accomplished. Jesus never asks his disciples to praise Him. Jesus does not ask us to praise Him; we are to follow Him; we are to emulate Him. We are to love our neighbors, no matter where they live.
The Bible and most religions use the term belovedness. This is the act of being loved by others, being desired by others. We cannot expect to be beloved unless we love others, unless we become less egotistical. Jesus teaches to love others as ourselves; but to love ourselves, we have to love others. This is a two-way street. We cannot have one without the other.
We cannot break down the walls of jealousy and self-centeredness, until we shut down our self-worth, our vanity, and recognize God as the Creator of all people and all things. Jesus hung on a cross for us! We can never be as selfless as that. All His mortal life, He was a servant to all of us. We are all made in the image of Go. Jesus’ humbleness is a beacon for all. We can look to His sacrifice and His example as way for us to lose our own vanity.
© Russell Kendall Carter