Prerequisites. You remember those from college. I recall heading off to begin my bachelor’s degree excited to learn all things related to my future career. The kind of topics that got me interested in the field in the first place. The subjects that I couldn’t wait to dig into more, and understand better so that I could use them in real life. But my first day on campus, my first day of classes was a huge wake-up call. To get my degree, enjoy the classes I looked forward to, and dig deeper into my beloved subjects, something else had to be done…prerequisites.

English, biology, world civilization, and more. I thought I was past these types of courses. I was ready for more. I was ready to jump headlong into the core classes of my major. But I needed to learn these prerequisites first. The required courses set me up for success in my chosen field of study. My advisor informed me these were “vital” to my learning. Thus, to truly be prepared for my field and the ultimate goal I had, these prerequisites were necessary. Thankfully my advisor and professors were right. But what if they were wrong?

Everyone has self-love. Jesus does not command it; he assumes it.

John Piper

In the case of my college prerequisites, my advisors were correct in requiring some general courses prior to degree-specific pursuits. This proved helpful. But I’m afraid for all of us a prerequisite to “loving others” has been set forth that is actually detrimental in the pursuit of our ultimate goal. John Piper addresses this “loving others” prerequisite in his article “You Don’t Need More Self Love“. Piper shows how far more radical Jesus’ call to “love others” really is.

Have you ever been told the reason you are having a problem loving others is that you don’t love yourself enough? Or that in order to love your neighbor you must first love yourself well? If so, this article will encourage and challenge you. It’s not a call to “do more”, but a call to rest and rely on someone who is more. If we are truly loving ourselves it will manifest itself in love for others. Check out the article for some great diagnostic and application questions also.

As always be with the Lord’s people on Lord’s day.

Until Next Time…

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash