Sometimes when I start this conversation people will state “WAIT! Self-love is against God!” So, I want to express my stance on this. Any revelation or thought you have you should really hold up against the bible before you accept it as true. 2 Timothy 3:1-2 You must realize, however, that in the last days difficult times will come. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy. The Greek word used to describe this love philautos, which means self-loving. Or making our self the center of our life instead of God – OUR wants, needs, and desire become the leading desire instead of God being our leading desire. This is NOT what I am speaking of here. I LOVE God and HIS ways are always so much better than my ways. I want to live a life poured out – Galatians 2:20 states – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. My wants die – my needs die – my life is no longer about me. I think the fact that we love ourselves in a humble way is assumed in the bible. There are many scriptures but I am going to focus on Matthew 22:34 – 40 33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
The Greatest Commandment
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” In these verses Jesus states love your neighbor as you love yourself – If you don’t love yourself well how could you love your neighbor well? There is an assumption here that we love, accept and care for ourself to the extent it can carry on to our neighbor.
Whoever gets sense loves his own soul;
Ephesians 5:28 -29
In the same way, husband out to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.
God so loved us that he sent his son to die for us so we can become reconciled back in to relationship with him. He wants you to love yourself.
I am talking about seeing ourselves the way God see’s us. As a parent I would be so happy if you son came to me and said “Hey Mom – I really like me! I am so unique. I have some things I am good at – and I am trying to be better at the things I am not very good at – and I will get there in time but I really do like my unique self. Thanks, Mom, for helping me love me like you love me”. CMON!!! I would be like “YUHHHEEESSSS”.
You have a relationship with yourself – You have a way you talk to yourself, that you think about yourself, take care of yourself, encourage yourself. You choose and complete actions in your life that validate how you feel about yourself. Most of the time we are not very kind to our self. We tell ourself the unkindest things – things we would never say to a friend. If a friend d came up to us and said “wow I am really struggling” we would say encouraging things – not talk about how inept that person is.
First – lets tackle the talk – We get negative voices stuck in our heads. Usually, the negative voice is the voice of a person or a collection of people (siblings, people who bullied us, an unkind teacher) – often times it is the voice of the person we like the least. Sometimes it is the voice of someone who abused us. We continue to give those individuals power in our life – even though they are most likely long gone – not even considering us any longer, they have totally forgotten the incidents or their behavior – and we are stuck in it.
Now Let’s tackle the thoughts! We tend to drag around the people and even of the past that were hurtful and unkind – but we have to search much harder to find the voice of those who love us! The compliments slip away – but the criticism sticks like gum. I think the devil loves to use Discouragement – if he can get us to become discouraged, he can get us to despair and he then can get us to stop trying. Also – the devil uses shame to keep us tied to past; replaying that poor choice over and over again in our minds. 2 Corinthian5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come! The old has gone, the new is here! Here is a quick tip: to tackle these old tied self – loathing thoughts – remind yourself – I am not the same person I was then -and I wouldn’t make the same choices I did then.
Often, we take these early childhood experiences and we continue to live in them – or even think we don’t have a choice to change them. You don’t get to pick your childhood – but you get to pick your adulthood. You can learn to not live in those memories. Often, people look back at their past through the eyes of the wisdom they now possess. As a 50 year old looking back on my 12 year old choices as condemning myself is pointless. I made the decisions of a 12 year old because I had the wisdom of my 12 year old self. Work hard to disconnect from your past, it can be like a stone dragging around your neck not allowing you to experience joy.
We validate how important we are through our actions: Sometimes we struggling to take care of ourself – NOW we are great at taking care of everyone else – but we put ourself last. Through these actions we reaffirm to ourself that we deserve to be last – we deserve to live a life of lack. Everyone else is more important to us. Women, we do this all the time. We make sure the people in our lives have more than what they need – while we give ourself the crumbs off the table (sometimes literally) When we are using action to affirm to ourself that our happiness is not important. Often, others don’t think to fill our cup – often they and we don’t even realize we have one! We need to ask for others to fill our cup (tell your hubby you need a date night! Ask friends to help out with a house project etc.) – YOU ARE NOT BEING a Burden – if someone asked you to help how would you respond? We feel honored right? Like wow – yeah, I want to help you – but when we ask, we think we are being a burden – QUICK TIP!: We are giving others the opportunity to love us the way we need to be loved. Use the little actions in your life to affirm to yourself that you are important. We are overly apologetic – stating I am so sorry for things we might not actually be sorry for – but we don’t like conflict. This invalidates you – makes you feel small, like a mistake. We teach others how to treat us by what we will accept – and what we will accept if often tied to how we feel we deserve to be treated.
Often, We do not like being alone because we don’t like our own company because we get stuck in our heads; we get on the yuck of our thinking. We need to work to correct our thinking and how we value yourself. Learn to like yourself and surround yourself with people who also like you! God made you exactly how you are for HIS purposes – and he didn’t make you a mistake!