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What is the proper perspective to have regarding self-love?

I struggle with a desire to be positive about myself and the concern that this is ungodly self love.  

Clarify (1) Share Report Asked September 22 2013 Mini Greg Walker

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Open uri20130622 23898 8dsex Kelli Hamann Supporter Pastor's Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Writer, Cellist
The world tells us that we can't love others until we love ourselves first, and many people adhere to this philosophy. I, personally, see this as false according to how I interpret the scriptures and what I've been taught by godly leaders.

On the other hand, hating oneself is not advisable, either, and also not biblical according to what I see in the scriptures.

Let me first address the idea of self-love. When asked about what was the most important law, Jesus said in Luke 10:27,

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Many people wrongly interpret the second part as meaning that we have to love ourselves first before we can love others. That's not what Jesus said. The first part is critical: We must love God first and foremost, which resets our center from a life of sin and giving into our sin nature to a life that is centered on pursuing and pleasing God in all that we do. As we understand God's love for us, it should naturally lead us to the second part: We must take our focus off of ourselves and onto others as the love of God helps us to want to put the needs of others above our own. It is my understanding that in saying "Love your neighbor as yourself," Jesus was asserting that we--in our sin nature--already love ourselves and do a pretty good job of "looking out for number one" without even really realizing what we're doing. By stating that we need to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, He was saying that we need to put others first, before ourselves, like Jesus did. This passage in Romans 12 spells it out nicely,

"9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

Now for the second issue: self-hate. God loves us, and If the God of the universe loves us, it just doesn't make sense that we should hate ourselves; we need to agree with God, that we are "lovable." The Bible tells us that even before we accepted Him, He loved us, and that's what caused Him to send His Son to us to save us: 

"16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

I especially love verse 17, which I think is often overlooked. God doesn't condemn us, so we shouldn't condemn ourselves, which is much like hating ourselves. I hate the sins that I commit and the sin nature that I see in myself, but I marvel that God loves me, and I accept His love and approval and give Him thanks for what He did for me so that I can worship Him face-to-face and bask in His love. Acts 10: 15 says,

"15 The voice spoke to him a second time, 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.'"

Jesus has made us clean; therefore, we should no longer call ourselves unclean and unacceptable to God in any way if we are truly in Christ, saved by His precious blood.

This comes down to one thing: We need to understand our identity as blessed sons and daughters of God. Here's a great passage in Galatians 3:

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

September 23 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Emilio 1992 Emo Tenorio Shomer
My opinion is to always remember that we are the servants of God, humble, centered and balanced. 

Judges 6:11-12  When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon , he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior". 
Gideon did not view himself as such, but God did and the transfer of the  mindset made all the difference, from Gideon's now into his future! 
Had Gideon not stepped out in faith believing what God's angel  proclaimed, he would have stayed under that tree, never to have been heard of .
 
God Himself loves us so.......dead men keeping it balanced.....warrior on

September 22 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Stringio Gary Patton People Development Coach to Christians
Biblically, I'd suggest the best answer is: "Wise Jesus Followers get over themselves!"

The oft-shared comment that: "You can't love others unless you love yourself!" is dangerous, demonic nonsense and simply a Satanic variant on the "big lie" which Adam & Eve bought into. 

The ONLY key to the abundant, self-satisfying, and eternal life which Jesus came to earth and offers, still, to every wo(man) and knowing child is:

"Become a "Walking Dead Woman!"~ © gfp '42™  

Jesus makes clear that only by letting Him live His life out through us, in the power of Holy Spirit, will we ever succeed at anything. 

John 12:24, John 15:5 and Galatians 2:20, all read in context, are about as far away from so-called "self love" as a wise Jesus Follower can get!


Blessings all!

September 23 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Anonymous
weare called to pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus,and that requires denying ourselves the pleasures of sin.even though we struggle with the flesh,we have the promises from Scripture that there is a power from the Holy Spirit  that will enable us to be more like Him,but as James says we all stumble in many ways,and Paul reminds us in the book ofPhillipians that he had not reached the mark of perfection,but he did press on toward that goal.

It's helpfull to identify with those in the Bible that were in the first century,and had first hand  intimate eyewitness experience with Jesus but yet they struggled with self love also.

I take comfort in the fact that whenever I'm focused on myself I will always fall short,But if I trust Him and look unto Him and what He has done for me and anyone that has place there trust in Him there is a peace that only Grace can provide!!

September 24 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Fred Palmer
We are created in His image how can we not love what out of love he made in the image of Himself

September 23 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


0
Mini Anonymous
weare called to pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus,and that requires denying ourselves the pleasures of sin.even though we struggle with the flesh,we have the promises from Scripture that there is a power from the Holy Spirit  that will enable us to be more like Him,but as James says we all stumble in many ways,and Paul reminds us in the book ofPhillipians that he had not reached the mark of perfection,but he did press on toward that goal.

It's helpfull to identify with those in the Bible that were in the first century,and had first hand  intimate eyewitness experience with Jesus but yet they struggled with self love also.

I take comfort in the fact that whenever I'm focused on myself I will always fall short,But if I trust Him and look unto Him and what He has done for me and anyone that has place there trust in Him there is a peace that only Grace can provide!!

September 24 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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