Loving yourself seems to be a taboo subject in some Christian circles. I understand because when I first learned of the notion to love myself, I kind of scoffed, like, that isn’t godly. It’s because my eyes weren’t opened to the truth of it. All I could see was narcissistic love, being a lover of myself, selfish and only caring about what I could get from others.
This wasn’t the type of love God was trying to show me. He was telling me that self-love is necessary and it’s a completely different thing than being a lover of self. Romans 13:8-10 says:
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
I’ve spoken on this many times before but that one simple word has changed my life. Love your neighbor AS yourself. We’re supposed to love ourselves, it even goes on to say “Love does no wrong to a neighbor.” If you’re loving your neighbor as you love yourself that would mean that you would do no wrong to yourself.
Staying in an abusive relationship is loving the other person MORE than you love yourself. Abuse comes in many forms, physical, verbal and emotional, which includes serial cheaters. If no one has told you before, a man who cheats and lies over and over again IS abusing you!
Cutting yourself is NOT loving yourself, starving yourself is NOT loving yourself, taking on every commitment and never giving yourself time to refuel is NOT loving yourself, enabling abuse against yourself is NOT loving yourself.
Now I’ll cover the difference between self-love and being a lover of self.
- Sees how much you’re worth in God’s eyes
- Creates healthy boundaries with those who hurt you physically and emotionally
- Takes care of your body’s needs, physically, emotionally and spiritually
- Takes breaks when needed; Says “no” to good things to have time for the best things
- Seeks God’s wisdom
- Loves others equally, not treating them as less than yourself while not allowing mistreatment of yourself
LOVER OF SELF
- Puts your wants above the well being of those around you
- Overruns other people’s boundaries to benefit yourself
- Overindulges; No self-control
- Driven by money and the world’s definition of “success”
- Vain; Outer beauty is more important than inner
- Inflated ego
- Sees others as inferior
- Boasts in themselves
2 Timothy 3:1-17 says:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people…”
At the end of the day being a “lover of self” isn’t really love at all. They aren’t loving themselves or anyone else around them. They have an emptiness inside that they’re trying to fill with all the wrong things.
But, self-love is a whole other thing. IT’S OK to love yourself! God see’s you as worthy of love and YOU ARE. So start seeing yourself in that light, God’s light.