The other day I happened upon the admonition or model for Christian living that my mother taught me when I was a wee lad. I am sure most of you have learned it, too, or at the very least you have encountered it somewhere. It is this:
God first, others second, self last.I submit that Jesus was more reasonable than Mama was in this instance. When asked, "What is the greatest commandment?" he replied, "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment." Then he told the questioner more than he asked, for he continued, "The second is like unto it: Love thy neighbor as thyself."
The first requires no interpretation. It is clear. The second, I infer, is telling us that love of others is dependent upon love of self, for you cannot love others if you lack love for yourself. Still, the commandment is to love your neighbor.
I am thinking of the chorus of a hymn we used to sing
How beautiful to walk, In the steps of the Savior, Stepping in the light, Stepping in the light, How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, Led in paths of light.
--Eliza Hewett, c. 1890