Constantly strive to excel in all you do. Excellence works wonders in strengthening the ego. Every person constantly needs ego nourishment. However, the urge to excellence is not to be mistakenly faulted as an ego trip. Dr. Schuller says “it is rather divine worship.”
Great opportunities and bright ideas, he believes, are given by God to us, making us stewards of these heaven-sent jewels. “And our responsibility is to respectfully and reverently receive and polish these divine dreams, turning them into inspiring realities. Then reporting back to the source of all creative concepts, we present to God an accomplishment worthy of a gift to a flawless Lord.”
In we are inspired by His Spirit, we will constantly and compulsively be driven to excel. Our basic sincerity will allow us to settle for nothing less than an all-out effort to present to God a polished achievement – without spot, scratch, or wrinkle. The urge to excel is our best effort to develop the God-given gift of a beautiful idea to its fullest and most fruitful potential.
So the pursuit of excellence is our noble art of worship. You glorify God when you build up His sons and daughters. You build yourself up when you return an idea to God and know, deep down in your heart, that though your achievement is not perfect, it does excel in competition with yourself.
Set high moral standards for yourself, and strive to live up to them. You will gladly and cheerfully accept a temporary “temptation-tension” in exchange for the lasting “peace-of-mind” value which is the ultimate reward for the self-disciplined person who successfully develops great pride-producing moral character through his self-denial and dedication to some beautiful, creative, constructive, inspiring moral ideal.
In the process of building your self-love, Dr. Schuller discloses that, you will lift the collective level of self-respect in your community. “In your achievements you will inspire your fellows with pride as they observe your higher, nobler, and uplifting moral dedication.”
He reiterates that more than you know you will raise the collective level of society’s self-esteem. When the truth hits you that you, one solitary, beautiful person – are to some degree lifting the level of humanity’s self-worth then your self-love will be even further enhanced, which is to say all persons are related to each other.
Yes, all of us are blood relatives. We all are the descendants of the same ancestors – Adam and Eve. Because we are blood relatives that which one person chooses to do will affect the rest of the family in some way or at some time. For instance, if my brother builds an honorable name and reputation I am proud to say “That is my brother.” If he makes a shameful public disgrace of himself, I am equally embarrassed.
Therefore, if I commit an act or a deed that – however, personally pleasurable or satisfying it may be – is demeaning to myself or to another human being, I insult the fellow members of my family. I contribute to lowering of the collective level of human self-esteem.
Dr. Schuller strongly believes that the modern philosophy – Let each person do his own thing; it is right as long as it feels good and does not hurt anyone – is illogical, impossible, immeasurably dangerous, and potentially demonic. “This reckless pragmatism is only the shallow surmising of a spoiled, selfish, and basically immoral person who rationalizes to get what he wants when he wants it.”
Immorality asks the question: “What do I want and enjoy?” Morality asks the question: “What is right or best?” Each person’s morality or immorality will affect the mental well-being of his fellow human beings. “We are an organismic unity.”
The Crystal Cathedral pastor, Dr. Schuller virtually pontificates, “Any private act, which becoming public knowledge, comes across like bad news and offends the self-respect of another relative in the human family, is wrong. No matter how it may satisfy my personal lust, please my private taste, relieve my individual frustrations, or remove my solitary pain.”
Live a high moral life, the Pastor counsels , and you will not only build your own self-love, but in the process you will also build and boost the collective consciousness of self-love in society, and more than you will ever know you will help create a mental climate of collective pride in your community. “There is the beginning of the solution to all social problems – crime, injustice, racism, and exploitation,” he continues, “for proud people are slow to stoop to sin.”
Prayerfully, carefully, like an archeologist exploring rich ruins to uncover, discover, and recover the priceless and beautiful treasures of a glorious bygone civilization, the Rev Schuller, challenges us to carefully and prayerfully seek out, in the corridors of grand moral traditions, the highest and noblest moral values. Take them to heart. Let them become the constitution governing the law of your life. Just as a nation avoids anarchy, waste, and disorder by choosing to be governed not by the whims, wills, and fancies of a time or a thought, but by constitutional law, so your life will not be made a shambles by allowing passing pleasures to plunder your pride. Rather you will develop a great character which will be crowned and controlled by a conscience that is constrained by God.
Now commit yourself to a great cause. Connect and commit yourself to a cause that, in time, scope, and value, transcends your solitary life. A sense of strong self-identity comes with the feeling of belonging. Involve yourself in something that is of great importance in the larger scheme of things. Participate. Get out into the limelight. Assume responsibility. You will generate self-love because responsibility fulfills the need to be needed, and self-love, that wonderful sense of well-being, comes when we know that our life is making a contribution to the human family. “There is absolutely no excuse for not feeling needed in a world where so many hurting and lonely people are desperately hungering for a friendly life, a helping hand, and a listening ear.”
Finally, help others build self-love within themselves. Remember, most of the people you meet are having trouble loving themselves too.
To really achieve a deep and abiding self-love, start thinking around those who need strong supports built under their faltering and battered self-esteem. You will find that there are many people who are depressed and discouraged. They have not yet learned, as you have, how to build a strong self-love. They have not learned the basic lessons of how to handle competition – how to deal with their dreams – how to cope with their imperfections.
You can help them find a way. Share your learning experiences with them. And what a surprising reward will be yours. You will receive an even more intense awareness that you really are a beautiful person. You will have practiced and proved the principle: “If any person would save his life, he must first lose it. And if any person will lose his life, he will find it.”
Having achieved a strong self-love, you will find yourself released from an incredible collection of negative tensions. With a positive self-image, you will be well on the way of replacing inner stress and strain with inner peace, harmony, power, and creativity. You will be well on the way toward being a relaxed and a relaxing person.