Lessons from volunteering at a prison

It was humbling and gratifying to see the men we visited starting to glimpse their true nature as lovable and loved.

The maxim “Those who are hardest to love need it the most” (often attributed to Socrates) is familiar to many, and I’ve been saying it most of my life. But recently a fresh take on this occurred to me.

As a Christian Scientist, I’ve taken to heart the two great commandments singled out by Christ Jesus (see Matthew 22:37, 39), which could be summarized as “Love God and love man—yourself and everyone else.” He also taught us to love our enemies, so as difficult as it may be to accept, someone being hard to love is no excuse for not loving them.

But what if the person I am finding it so hard to love, who needs it most, is not someone “out there” but is actually . . . me? The standard that Jesus gives for loving everyone else is to love them as we love ourselves, and that standard is grounded in loving God, our creator.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Unity of Spirit
May 27, 2024

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.