First question: whose satisfaction?
Mine? Yours? Someone else’s? God’s?
Second question: if we ever actually cared or care now… how?
A few comments of the second q first because of course, I’m upside-down and backwards in my thought processes… ha… no, actually because it’s easier (believe it or not).
I say “easier” only in one sense, that being because it’s much easier to talk about.
Notice the word “if” in my prelude to the big cymbal crash, the crescendo “how”.
When one is brutally honest about caring or not caring, perhaps “sometimes I do, sometimes I flat-out don’t” -we have the foundation of the answer.
It has taken me a lifetime to care about somebody other than myself first. You can believe I’m not always living that out either… This is true even in my relationships to my wife, kids, grandkids, in-laws, folks I live near, live with, my closest friends, those work and even play with.
I’m still in process, changing, sorting out my own motives from one person and/or day, even moment to the next.
There are those I find it hard to even like much less love!
I suspect you, dear reader, share the same journey, no?
When I actually may give a rip about someone other than myself, I find it at times easier… but not always easier… to seek at least a bit of THEIR satisfaction with regard to our relationship, my possible serving them, helping relieve some burden they care and etc.. Sometimes.
To be sure, self-care is not always selfish. Jesus indeed calls us to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Then again, there is a point in time when we realize nobody- not even God Himself can satisfy each and every desire/want/need of any individual nor group of ’em. Think that reality over and it can both ease our sense of responsibility and also bring one to despair if not given to Someone with greater strength, understanding and grace than we shall ever comprehend on this earth! I CAN do all things through Jesus Who gives me the strength. He never calls us to do something without giving us the ability to do it.
So my overall response to question number two is simply this: we cannot fully satisfy anyone including ourselves, not all the time nor in every circumstance.
So why bother -and how if we either want to or think we ought to?
I personally cannot live outside of an authentic faith in God and my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ- and after a lifetime of challenges to my faith I am fully unashamed of my own lack in this reality.
I’ll say it again: without HIS help, direction, Spirit, I only rarely love as He has both called and indeed commanded me to love. But His first call is to “love God”.
No Christ-follower does this perfectly, zero self involved. Not one.
Grace- UNmerited favor. We can’t “do” anything enough to earn/deserve/demand it. But let’s go deeper: neither can those around us.
IF (lousy little English word…) we allow ourselves to blow past His grace… and even if we are fairly aware of our need for it, to only care about another’s sense of of satisfaction IF and WHEN WE THINK THEY’VE EARNED IT is both a scriptural as well as moral and ethical quicksand!
So I find myself “taking fearless moral inventory” at times and recognize others need the very mercy I myself require. Others- whether I’d have ever chosen them for besties or not, are in deep need of at least a little satisfaction in this sinful, broken world of “self” each and every one of us inhabit!
Back to the first question.
I think each and all entities I listed are loved and require love.
To hugely simplify (sorry!) I land at 3 points. We can only bring love to ourselves, the other person/s and to God by His grace and the continual option of choice.
I suspect the highest is to “Love God” supremely, but one cannot disconnect that from loving others and indeed, seeing ourselves and others through His eyes of grace.
Without this, all is lost. Including us.
Things to consider?
Thanks so much for stopping by! -Glenn