Love of neighbor and selfishness
Sometimes, before someone new, appearing in our company, speaks, we already have some sympathy or dislike or indifference … We convey a lot through our external signs. But loving your neighbor is not at all about feeling. What’s more – when feelings dominate in it, very often they pass away because they are changeable. And often the feeling of great attachment, sympathy, joy turns into hatred.
Man today is very self-centered. He cares about developing. Develop in all directions, but most of all in the physical direction – cares about muscles, cares about beauty, to look great, cares about fashion, to be fashionable … Takes care of a whole range of aspects of life, for example, he develops in a personal sense, he has special personal trainers who allow him to make sure that he can skillfully face the challenges of life, to cope with difficult situations, he has psychologists to help him in situations in which he finds himself – in some dramatic circumstances of his life. He learns how to interact with people, how to impose his own will on them, how to persuade them this or that. Man is very self-centered today, but not focused on his own spiritual life, as we’ve talked about recently. What is especially important is that this interest in man and self-care should not take on such a scale that can be called selfishness. Unfortunately, this is often the case today. Man cares so much about himself that the only goal of his interest, his actions, is his own happiness, understood as communing with others, as creating a network of interpersonal connections through goodness, kindness, honesty, responsibility, and even sacrifice. Today we are focused only on ourselves, that is, we take care of our happiness in a selfish sense – so that I feel good. We even go so far as to say that if anyone else interferes with the realization of our plans, sometimes far-reaching, they simply become our enemy or we run away from them. We run away from responsibility for others, we run away from responsibility for the goods that have been entrusted to us … Man revolves around himself like a carousel and thinks that he saves himself in a way that he will give for his true happiness. And the Gospel tells us something else about our life. It says that there is more joy in giving than there is in receiving. So giving is meant not only by giving small donations to the poor in the street, but by giving yourself. Giving yourself, your time, your skills, sacrificing yourself for others. If a person does not make sacrifices, he lives very superficially. And someday, at the end of his life, he will find out about it because he will not establish any important relationship with anyone. The people who live with us cannot become objects for us, but they must become for us those who help us develop those qualities in us that make a person grow by developing another. Man should enjoy the development of others, but only when he really understands it. When he might experience good, not gifts, from his parents. Often today people complain that they have many gifts, but nobody really loves them. And it’s not just about someone falling in love with me. But most of all, let someone make my happiness their goal in life. And it is best selflessly. Well, just when Christians talk about love of neighbor, they talk about selfless love. They are not talking about tolerance for others. Nor do they talk about feelings for others. We are under no obligation to have nice, sympathetic feelings towards others, because this is basically impossible. Of course, we have a few friends in our lives, we have our family, with whom we have very good relations, relationships, and sometimes a bit worse. But we cannot have good feelings for everyone we meet. However, we can love him. Just because someone makes me feel negative, doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. Every person awakens some feelings. Especially since we convey a lot of our personality and who we are not only with words that we can offend or win someone’s sympathy with. No. We talk a lot through gestures. Only 10% of our communication with the world, with other people, is actually verbal, i.e. through words. Most of us make non-verbal contact. Sometimes, before someone new, appearing in our company, speaks, we already have some sympathy or dislike or indifference … We convey a lot through our external signs. But loving your neighbor is not at all about feeling. What’s more – when feelings dominate in it, very often they pass away because they are changeable. And often the feeling of great attachment, sympathy, joy turns into hatred. Because feelings are fickle. Christian love of our neighbor does not mean that we have loving feelings for someone else. No. Christian love of our neighbor consists primarily in the fact that we want, decided, it is our will, sometimes against our feelings that are not the most pleasant, that can disturb us. We want to do good for him. This is the love that Jesus appealed to his disciples for. If we are Christians, if we want to develop this Christian path in us, the most important thing is to do good, regardless of positive or negative feelings. If they are positive, we can always use them. If they are negative, you have to jump over them, you have to somehow mitigate them, you have to learn to ignore them. This is something very important. Overcoming oneself is a Christian way of life, a Christian love of one’s neighbor. Overcome your negative feelings towards others. What can I do to really love my neighbor? In order to love our neighbor, we must first of all believe Jesus that by doing good for others we not only save ourselves, not only in fact develop ourselves to the fullest, but above all we love Jesus Himself. Jesus said that “whatever you did for one of the least of these my brethren, you did for me.” And the good we do for others that we show to others is so important that Jesus said that even a glass of water given because of Christian love to someone who thirsts for it will not be forgotten. This is something extremely important. This is something very basic. “I was hungry – you gave me food. I was thirsty – you gave me a drink. I was in prison, lonely – you visited me. ” And that is why love for our neighbor knocks us out of this vicious circle, from this carousel, as I said, into which human life is being transformed very often today. To get out of this selfishness, to go beyond yourself, you have to do good against your own feelings. We need to do good even to people who aren’t nice to us, who don’t like us, or are even our enemies. The Gospel says: “what great do you do if you love only those who love you?”, “What great do you do when you wish well only to those who wish you well? Even the heathen do. You guys be different. ” That is why what is especially important: love of our neighbor is our salvation. Love of neighbor makes a person happy. Man, another man, it’s not hell, as Sartre said, “other people are hell.” No. Other people are the cause of our salvation. “Whatever you did for one of the least of these my brethren, you did for me.” So you contributed to your salvation.
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