I don’t know about you, but I struggle with the idea of self-love. If you Google “love yourself” you’ll find a plethora of thoughts on the subject . . . some good, some not.
So I went to the Bible and searched for “love yourself” there, and…
10 places in the Bible it says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
But what does love yourself mean exactly based on God’s Word?
What if self-love is supposed to look child-like?
And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
You don’t have to tell little children to love themselves. They are comfortable in their own skin. They know when they’re hungry, tired, and when they need comfort and nurturing. But even more important for our discussion today little children are humble, sincere, trusting, and dependent.
But wait . . . that’s counterintuitive isn’t it? We probably wouldn’t think of self-love as humble, sincere, trusting, or dependent.
Stay with me for just a moment.
What if self-love is supposed to look like humility?
Warren Wiersbe defines true humility as:
- Knowing yourself.
- Accepting yourself.
- Being yourself.
He adds . . . “Humility begins with self-examination and continues with self-denial.”
Self-examination and self-denial—again not what we think of when we think self-love. But what if…
Self-love God’s way begins with humility.
Because humble self-love is best able to love others.
Let’s take a closer look at Wiersbe’s definition of true humility.
- Knowing yourself means getting to know your personality, your values, your gifts and abilities, and your hopes and dreams . . . the you God created.
- Accepting yourself comes from having and keeping a vertical perspective. Fixing your eyes on Jesus. NOT COMPARING yourself to others.
- Being yourself means living obediently as the one of a kind, God designed person you are. Being yourself means allowing God to use you to fulfill His plans and purposes. It is allowing Him to use you to love others in ways only you are able.
I’m not very good at “loving myself” when it comes to giving myself regular “atta girl” pats on the back. I’m not great at self-pampering and I’m definitely not good at getting all warm and fuzzy when I look in the mirror.
But maybe that’s okay.
Because I know my:
- Personality – I’m a Phlegmatic/Sanguine which means I just want everyone to get along and have fun doing it.
- Values – My core values are grounded in my love for Jesus. Values that make me want to follow Jesus’ example of loving God and others.
- Gifts and Abilities – I’m a student who loves to teach. I have the gift of gab and I’m getting better at the gift of listening. And I love writing. If you’ve never read my About Deb Page you’ll learn more about me than you care to know.
- Hopes and Dreams – My greatest desire is to stay focused on eternal things – loving and obeying God and loving well the people He puts around me. (I probably would have answered something about my kids 20 years ago. So, don’t put too much holiness on this. I’m at my stage of life. You’re at yours.)
For the most part, I know the girl God created. Oh, I’m a work in progress when it comes to the accepting part, but I’m confident if I stay focused on Jesus and stop comparing myself to others I will do a better job there. And I will always try to do better while trusting that I am loved and accepted just the way I am.
As far as being myself . . . I think I’m okay there. Honestly, if I can’t be myself in my sixties when in the world will I start.
So, what exactly is loving yourself God’s way?
Here’s what I think.
25 Ways to Love Yourself God’s Way
- Remember you are valued and precious to God.
- Know, accept, and be yourself.
- Forgive yourself like God forgives you.
- Treat yourself with care and compassion.
- Care for your physical needs . . . diet, move and rest.
- Refuse to waste time on stinkin’ thinkin’.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Sing, dance, and laugh more.
- Refuse to speak unkind words to yourself.
- Say ‘no’ when you need to.
- Do something you were created to do every day.
- Pursue your hopes and dreams.
- Be honest with yourself and others.
- Pray – ask God to help you know your strengths.
- Pray – ask God to show you your weaknesses.
- Pray – ask God for His guidance and help.
- Stop and give thanks for your life every day.
- Spend time with people you love.
- Accept what you can’t change.
- Forgive others.
- Be bold and try something new.
- Believe God has a plan and purpose for you.
- Live engaged in every moment.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Be still – know and love God.
What do you think? Are you ready to love yourself God’s way?
I’ve made a free download of the 22 Ways. You’re welcome to print a copy and keep it handy for a daily reminder. You might even want to print a copy for your kids.
Remember, loving yourself God’s way equips you to love others His way too.
Blessings to you my loved friends!