The message is everywhere.
“7 Ways To Learn To Love Yourself Unconditionally.”
“The Reason You Need To Learn To Love Yourself.”
“How To Love Yourself More”
Pinterest, blogs, the internet – they are all flooded with this message of loving yourself. It is a prevalent message in our culture today. It promises to cure your insecurity, help you find the self-confidence you’ve always dreamed about, and make you feel valuable and accepted.
If we were to be honest with ourselves, we’d have to admit that this message of loving ourselves sounds like a pretty good one. Who doesn’t want a free license to lavish more love and attention on themselves? 😉 But while culture screams to love yourself, what does God’s Word have to say about it?
God’s Word proclaims a radically different message.
The truth is – we already love ourselves. Our hearts are sinful and prideful and selfish and full of self-love. Our self-love runs so deep that God said He wants us to love others in the same way we love ourselves – in other words, a lot!
God’s Word does not proclaim the message of loving ourselves, but the message of loving Him first of all and others as ourselves.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Matthew 22:37-39
The truth about loving yourself is that you’re not supposed to love yourself. The truth is that you are supposed to love God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
God’s love is key.
We will never be able to love God or others until we first come to realize just how much God loves us personally.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
God’s love is beyond our human comprehension. When I think about God’s love for mankind, it makes no sense to me. Why God chose to love us, even give His own life for us, I will never understand. We are flawed, sinful creatures who do not deserve His love, yet He so freely gives it. Our God is love. Isn’t it amazing?
So why do we think we need to love ourselves more when God already loves us so much?
Could it be that because even though we know He loves us we struggle to believe it?
The real struggle is not loving ourselves but truly believing and accepting God’s unconditional love for us.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. I John 4:16
God’s love is key for two reasons:
1. It enables us to love Him.
We love him, because he first loved us. I John 4:19
Fully realizing and believing in God’s love is what enables us to love Him.
In Luke 7, the Bible tells us the story of a lady who loved God much.
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Luke 7:47
This lady’s ability to love Him much was not because she was such a great sinner, but because she realized the greatness of God’s love towards her. His love for her became her motivation to love Him much, and she saw His love by His forgiveness.
Your ability to love God is not measured by the amount of sin you’ve committed and been forgiven for, but by the depth of your realization of His love for you.
2. It enables us to love others.
When God commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, I don’t believe He was trying to preach the self-love message. He was trying to help us understand that we need to love others to the same degree we already love ourselves. Our love for others should be as great as our love for ourselves.
But we will not be able to love others unless the love of God is dwelling in our own hearts. His love gives us the capability to love even the most unlovable just like He loved us, unlovable though we are.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. I John 4:20-21
God’s Word makes it very clear that a person who truly loves God will love others. Loving others is how our love for God is seen. It is an expression of our love to Him.
Loving ourselves is not the answer.
The truth about loving ourselves is that it only leads to pride, selfishness, and insecurity.nOnly His love has the power to free and change us.
Whenever we shift our focus from loving ourselves to loving God and those around us, the insecurities, the pride and selfishness, they melt away.
So what about you? Have you been believing the lie of loving yourself? I’d love to hear any thought or comments in the box below!