It’s nearly 2018, which means it’s nearly time for me to “celebrate” my birthday.
I’ve been thinking about my birthdays in general, and how I feel about them. It’s not the growing old that I have a problem with, it’s the celebration part.
It’s not that I don’t like to celebrate – just that I don’t really enjoy celebrating me.
I’ve never really felt comfortable with being at the centre of attention – or with others putting me there.
For me, there are always other things, bigger things, more important things than me to think about.
Some of them are deeply personal. Others, well, just switch on the news.
It makes it difficult to celebrate when there is so much hurt, loss and despair.
I think it’s easier to celebrate yourself if you are comfortable with yourself. If you struggle with promoting yourself because you don’t think you are worth promoting then you will struggle to celebrate without holding anything back.
The thing is, that if you have been around the church for any amount of time, you are likely to have heard the message “Jesus first, yourself last and others in between”. It’s certainly been my mantra for decades. Sometimes unconsciously, but there nonetheless.
The problem with that mantra though is that if one isn’t careful, one can begin to think that your life and cares are not just less important, but not important at all.
If you are not important, then there is little point in loving yourself.
And that brings an even bigger problem.
I’m called to “love my neighbour as I love myself”. If I can’t love me, My neighbour is going to have a hard time believing I love them.
As Christians one of our primary goals is to love people. The expression of that love may take several forms. It may be simply being available. It may be praying for healing. It may be expressed in a moment, or over decades. But you can be sure that if you really love someone, they will know that they have been loved.
So I guess that I’m saying is it’s ok to love yourself. It’s ok to celebrate you. Maybe, just maybe it will help in our mission to make disciples of all nations.