I was talking to a Jehovah’s Witness (who maintain that Jesus is not divine, but a created person) a few months back when a realization hit me: if God is eternal, and God is love, who did God love before He created man and angels? If Jesus is created, there must have been a time when God was NOT love.

The Father delights not in the Father, but in the Son, and the Son in the Father. God is, one might say, humble, and humility is a key component of authentic love. When we are called to look away from ourselves to others, we are being invited into the same sort of dynamic.

And what a relief it is to stop fretting and fussing about ourselves, our inflated egos and precious self esteem! When we are really grounded in His love, we can stop all that and just look at Him, and from there to the needs of others. This is real freedom.

The trick is not to think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less. The person who goes around telling people how awful he or she is is just as self obsessed as someone who brags of their accomplishments: it’s still all about them.

Turn your affections outward, first to God, then to the world. The new life is impossible without this fundamental shift in our allegiances.