The "Love Yourself" Syndrome

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The world says you must love yourself before you love others. They say love of SELF is what really spurs you on to love others. It tells us we can’t possibly love anyone else correctly when we despise ourselves so much. Hmm… Is that really what the bible says to do?

If we are really honest with ourselves, we love us! We love to think about us, look out for us, and work for us. We love to think of ourselves…. Thinking of others is the hard thing to do. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He never ever said “Love yourselves, you little princes and princesses!” He didn’t even say “Love yourself and then seek to love others.” Why? Because we don’t have a problem loving ourselves!

I’m not talking about about teaching worth in Jesus Christ.  I consistently tell girls to see their worth as a daughter of God and not to seek fulfillment outside of Jesus. I also say we really have no worth of our own to embrace.

The world constantly tells us that, “Your real beauty comes from within. Just learn to love yourself the way you are. Then, you can love others. Look deep inside you for your own special and unique beauty.” Let’s remember that we are nothing without Christ. We do not possess anything beautiful or worth in and of ourselves. You might be thinking, “That’s a little harsh.” Yes, but it is the truth. Any thing we can muster up within ourselves is propped up and hollow. We can not look within ourselves for our beauty and strength and worth. We must look to Jesus- not learn to love ourselves.

Think of all the women down through history who have made an impact on the world for Christ. It was NOT because they “loved themselves.” They changed their world because they really didn’t think of themselves at all!! The gave up themselves and were consumed with Christ.

American Christianity is all about YOU. Sure it may include God, but it says, “What does God think about me?” “What is God willing to do for me?” and “How much does God love me?” That’s not how men and women of the Bible lived, people. They were willing to do anything for God. it didn’t matter the cost to themselves, they served. We, on the other hand, think everyone is placed on earth to serve us. We practically think God created us just to be our personal butler and give us everything we ever wanted. Instead, we should be putting God’s needs above our own, and others above ourselves.

“They are more important than me.” This should be our consistent attitude.

Can we truly say this is how we live?

God also said “love one another as I have loved you.” Do you think Jesus would have gone to the cross if he had “loved himself first?” I don’t think so. He would have said, “these people don’t deserve me after the way they have treated me… after all i have done for them!” He shed his blood because he was SELFLESS. It was the greatest act of love in the history of the world.  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 Sacrificing for others takes work and it requires that we love others more than ourselves, and it is what God commande.

The truth is, the more we love ourselves, the less we love others; and the more we love others, the less we love ourselves. It is an indirect proportion: one goes up, the other goes down. Just as you can not have hate in your heart for one person and love someone else in the right way, you can not love others the way you are supposed to love when you love yourself above them.

So where are we? Are our eyes focused on “loving ourselves? Are we taking and soaking up all this “self-esteem” and never giving to others? That’s how we end up with a miserable lonely life and a bad attitude. When we truly are focused on giving and serving and loving those around us, we will have everything we need to be fulfilled, happy, and at peace knowing that we are serving God and loving HIM instead of loving ourselves.

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12 comments

  1. Great post. Thank you Lauren! In us dwelleth no good thing. Our hearts our desperately wicked and who can know it?? Best to keep that old man bound up the best we can! The new man will serve God and others! Keep these coming girl! Amen!

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  2. This exactly what God has been teaching me recently. There’s this book by c.s Lewis; ‘The Great Divorce’, that I absolutely love. There’s this part where a man who is now in heaven is asked if he’s ashamed of himself for murdering someone when he was on earth. He answers “No… I do not look at myself.” That part is so powerful and beautiful to me. For some people the struggle is their shame, low self esteem, or their overpowering self love. Whether we think too highly of ourselves or to low it’s really all the same, we’re busy thinking of ourselves rather than Christ. When we give ourselves away God gives us this beautiful relationship that is so much greater than ourselves and really worth putting all our focus on.

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  3. I definitely think that we do need to love ourselves, but definitely not as the world tells us we should. For instance, I have learned to love myself, but not because of anything I am or have done. It is because of Christ that lives in me and what He has done for me and through me!

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  4. This was a great post. I’ve been trying to battle narcissism and low self esteem over the weekend and your post came in at a timely moment and re-focussed me back to Jesus, the centre of it all. Thank you.

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