For many years I’ve tested two principles that I believe directly affects my spiritual growth.
1. I treat others like I treat myself.
I believe my treatment of others is more often than not a reflection of how I treat myself in my most private internal moments. You know that person who is so critical of others? I believe that their behavior is a window into the way they treat themselves.
2. I treat myself like Ifeel God treats me.
Although the first one has proven itself to me over four decades of counseling and coaching people, I find this second principle supported in Scripture. I John says that “we love because He first loved us.” And “anyone who does not love does not know God for God is love.”
The word feel is important here as what we know intellectually many times has not integrated itself into my emotional life yet. I might know God is patient with me long before I feel that He is.
The Greeks even had two different words to explain this phenomena. Oida meant to know intellectually while ginosko meant to know through experience.
Until I feel that God is patient with me, I will have little patience with myself and others.
This process can take quite awhile if none of His patience was ever demonstrated towards me in my past or I’m not currently in relationship with other Christians who can show me God’s patience in the midst of them seeing my authentic self. There’s where I believe lasting change occurs.
What do you think about these two principles? You sure don’t have to agree with these observations of mine.