The love from above

Man can love himself in terms of self-acceptance only if he is certain that he is accepted. Otherwise his self-acceptance is self-complacency and arbitrariness. Only in the light and in the power of the ‘love from above’ can he love himself. This implies the answer to the question of man’s justice towards himself. He can be just towards himself only in so far as ultimate justice is done to him, namely the condemning, forgiving, and giving judgement of ‘justification’. The condemning element in justification makes self-complacency impossible, the forgiving element saves from self-condemnation and despair, the giving element provides for a Spiritual centre which unites the elements of our personal self and makes power over oneself possible.

–Paul Tillich, Love, Power, and Justice

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