I was scrolling through my instagram feed recently and, I saw a post where someone was talking about self love and self denial as it relates to Christianity. Someone else in the comment section disagreed with the post and gave their opinion about self-love, how they believe Christians should love themselves. I was then inspired to write this post to share with you what the Holy Spirit is teaching me about self-love.
What is self-love?
Self-love has many different definitions, but it all comes down to the same theme. “ the regard for attention and the desire of one’s own happiness or well-being.
The world is so big on self-love, everywhere you look, someone is always trying to tell or show you how to love yourself more. Sadly, even in the christian community we have embraced the world’s idea of self love so much that we’ve forgotten that the whole idea behind Christianity is SELFLESSNESS.
What the Bible says about self-love
Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Jesus replied, “ You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandment. -Matthew 22: 36-40
This verse is where most people get the biblical idea of self love. Surely, if we are to love our neighbors then we must first love ourselves. I believe in the healthy kind of self love, where we embrace who we were made to be and become confident of who we are in Christ. But, I disagree with the unhealthy version where life only revolves around our wants and needs. This kind of self love is dangerous, it’s consuming and allows pride and selfishness into our lives which could affect our relationship with God and with others.
But understand this that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. -2 Timothy 3:1-2
The truth is that excessive love for oneself, the kind that takes your focus from God to self is IDOLATRY..Ouch!!! and God detests idol worshiping. Sometimes, the only thing standing between you and God is YOU. When we come into a personal relationship with God, He expects us to let go of all our idols including ourselves.
The increase of evil in the world today can be traced to an excessive love for self. People kill, steal, betray and hurt others just to satisfy their selfish desires.
What God wants
Then Jesus said to all of them, “ If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.- Luke 9:23 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run away from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self.- Mark 8:34-36(msg)
From the above scriptures, we see that God wants us to
Let Him lead
We must do these things if we are to follow Him and discover our true selves. The evidence of our love for God is in loving others. The God type of love never points to self but to others, see 1Corinthians 13:1-7. Even God, set an example to show us what love really means by sending Jesus, his only son to die for us.
I’m convicted even as I write this post, because sometimes I get carried away with myself and my needs that I forget about others. But I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit who is our helper in this Christian walk.
As children of God, we must deny ourselves and choose to walk with God in daily surrender. I know this is a hard thing to do but through Christ’s strength we can do all things.
These are some questions to help you re-evaluate yourself
Do you have a healthy or unhealthy love for self?
When was the last time you helped\ thought of helping someone( financially or other ways)?
Who or what fills up your prayer list?
When was the last time you showed love\care for others?
In what ways can you put God first daily?
Don’t fall for the world’s self love trap. Always be thoughtful, kind and considerate of others, allowing God show you how to love His way.