Are You in Love with Yourself ?

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The Law and the Prophets were Summed Up very Neatly by Jesus in Two Commands- 

Love your neighbor just as you love yourself, and love the LORD your God with all your heart and and all your soul and all your mind.
- Mathew 22-40.

Naturally the emphasis is more on "loving God and loving others", whilst retaining a degree of self love, which is essential for understanding the unconditional nature of love. In order to empathize with others, one must empathize with one's own limitations and weaknesses. In positions of authority one must often be critical of others too for their own good,but that means we must be critical of oneself too. This kind of balanced self-introspection is what loving one-self is all about.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a psychiatric illness where unbalanced self-love controls the individual. These days a form of it is quite rampant in the body of christ , where people fall in love with their own selves, and cant see beyond their own needs, often forgetting the end goal , which is to selflessly love others and play a constructive role in building others in a spiritual and socio-cultural setting. Practicing selfless love is the ultimate goal of the Christian church.

A self-obsessed individual is not a candidate for authority , as he risks both his own life , and the life of others that he is responsible for. When one is in a position of authority in the church , one has to take steps in order to avoid becoming narcissistic, by delegating as much authority as needed to church members. Delegating authority is not a simple choice to make, because people can bring lasting disrepute to the institution by misusing position and power. Having said that standing on middle ground is necessary in order to avoid the trappings of fame and pride, which can deceptively steal the joy from your Christian walk of life, ushering in all kinds of false doctrine , in order to retain your position of influence over the body of Christ.

In Jesus , we see the perfect model of delegating authority. He chose 12 ordinary individuals, according to their heart and the potential they had. Throughout his ministry, He constantly prayed for them, and set them apart from the other followers. Once he chose them, he made them walk with him, showed them and taught them the secrets of the kingdom of God. Through his various teachings he explained to them what God priorities over everything else, and that is commitment, especially in the face of persecution and trials. One passage in particular where this is reflected is in the story of the Widows mite in Luke 21:1-4. Leaders might want extremely pious people to delegate authority too, but such individuals are rare to find. Following Jesus' example, we must learn to work with what we have, and if people's heart is in the right place, people should be given small responsibilities , even as Christ brings out an inward change in them, over a period of time.

At the end of His ministry, Jesus handed over the entire reins of the Church to the disciples. He handed over not just the responsibility of preaching the gospel but also made them the authority in all matters of the functioning of the church. The Church is the only known facilitator of salvation on the earth, and so holds a very important place in the plan and purpose of God for the human race. Hence not only is being a part of the church a huge responsibility but also a matter of sharing in Gods authority in spiritual matters.

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