The Bible teaches that we are created in God’s image and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). It also tells us that we are loved by God and that we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8). These truths should form the foundation of our self-love.
In Matthew 22:39, Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This implies that we are to love ourselves in a healthy and balanced way so that we are able to love others in the same manner. We are not to neglect our own needs or to be overly critical of ourselves.
At the same time, the Bible warns against selfishness and self-centeredness. Philippians 2:3-4 tells us to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but to consider others better than ourselves. We are to have a humble attitude and to put the needs of others before our own.
Balancing Self-Love and Selflessness
So, how do we strike a balance between self-love and selflessness? First, we must recognize that self-love is not the same as selfishness. Self-love is a healthy appreciation of who we are as God’s creations, while selfishness is a focus on our own desires at the expense of others.
Second, we must prioritize our relationship with God. When we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we are able to love ourselves and others in a healthy and balanced way (Matthew 22:37-38). We can trust that God has our best interests in mind and that He will provide for our needs.
Third, we must seek to understand our worth in Christ. We are valuable to God not because of our accomplishments or our appearance, but simply because we are His children. We can find security and confidence in this truth, knowing that we are loved and accepted by God.
Applying Self-Love in Our Lives
As we seek to apply self-love in our lives, there are several practical steps we can take. First, we can practice self-care by taking care of our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This may include eating well, exercising, getting enough rest, spending time in prayer and Bible study, and seeking out counseling or therapy when needed.
Second, we can cultivate healthy relationships with others. By investing in meaningful friendships and community, we can experience love and support from others and give love in return.
Third, we can pursue our passions and talents. God has given each of us unique gifts and abilities, and we can use these to glorify Him and to enrich our own lives.