I have always struggled with the idea of loving myself. As someone who was at church every time the doors were open … I was taught a lot about the importance of loving others but not so much about loving myself.
But if you look around today … talk about “self-love” is everywhere.
For example, if you do a Google search of the words “love yourself,” you’ll find a plethora of thoughts on the subject . . . some good, some not.
Everything from a song by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber to health facts to yoga tips to well, you get the idea.
Then I went to the Bible and searched for “love yourself” and I found…
10 places in the Bible it says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
But I wondered what exactly does it mean to “love yourself” based on God’s Word?
Does it mean pampering and taking time for self-interests? Eating well and repeating daily affirmations? Giving in to your flaws and doing what you want?
Or, is it something else?
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
Think about it … 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.
That seems counterintuitive though, doesn’t it?
I don’t think most adults would describe self-love as being humble, sincere, trusting, or dependent.
But what if we should?
What if self-love is supposed to look more 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…
LOVING YOURSELF GOD’S WAY … ALWAYS BEGINS WITH HUMILITY
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.
You made my whole being; You formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well.Psalm 139:13–14 (NCV)
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 maybe that’s not what it means to love myself.
Maybe I’m loving myself because I’m taking the time to humbly get to know the person God created me to be.
- Personality – I’m a Phlegmatic/Sanguine which means I just want everyone to get along and have fun.
- 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 want to know more and you’ve never read my About Deb Page … head over, you’ll learn even more about me than you probably wanted to.
- 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 into today’s goals. I’m at my stage of life. You’re at yours.)
For the most part, I’ve gotten to know the girl God created. But I’m a work in progress when it comes to the accepting part.
I am realizing though that if I stay focused on Jesus and stop comparing myself to others, I will do a better job there.
Because I believe that part of loving yourself the way God wants is to always try to do better while trusting that you and I are loved and accepted just the way we are.
I loved you as the Father loved me. Now remain in my love.John 15:9, John 6:37 (NCV)
The Father gives me the people who are mine. Every one of them will come to me, and I will always accept them.
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, how does God want you and me to love ourselves?
25 Humble Childlike Ways to Love Yourself
- Remember you are valued and precious to God.
- Be yourself – known, loved, and accepted by God.
- Forgive yourself trusting that God forgives you.
- Treat yourself with kindness and compassion.
- Take 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 an unkind word 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 to help you change what needs to change.
- Pray – ask God to guide and direct you each day.
- Stop and give thanks for your life every day.
- Spend time with people you love.
- Forgive others.
- Be bold and try something new.
- Believe God has a plan and purpose for you.
- Live fully engaged in every moment.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Be still – know, love, and trust God.
So, what do you think?
Are you ready to humbly love yourself God’s way?
Are you ready to know yourself, accept yourself, and fully be yourself?
To know the beautiful you God created? To accept that He knew exactly what He was doing when He created you? And to fully live each day for His glory … be yourself.
You are so very loved!
Stop and go to the closest mirror … look at yourself and say, “I am so very loved!”
The Kings of kings, the Lord of lords, Alpha and Omega, Creator, Redeemer, Spirit of Truth … loves and accepts you. He made you just the way He wanted you. You are important to the kingdom. You are a Child of God!
And I believe the One who loves you most and best wants you to love yourself humbly like a faith-filled child.
May you be blessed today as you are filled with His love!
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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