Is it right to love yourself?
|“God is love” says the Bible and, since we are made in His image, we are vessels of love, we are an expression of God's love and we can either glorify him by being loving to all people or, deny love to others and ourselves and thereby deny our creator.
But there is a fine line between loving ourselves, as God intended, and loving ourselves as an act of self-indulgent vanity.
“You must love your neighbour as yourself” was a commandment given to the nation of Israel. It was also a commandment that Jesus repeated. So God and His son do want us to have a love for ourself. When we think of the wonderful way that we are made, the complexity and beauty of our body and our mind, it is awe-inspiring. David was moved to say “I am wonderfully made.” And when we see that every human being on this planet is different, like beautiful, intricate snowflakes, with a different personality and different gifts to share with others, it brings glory to our heavenly Father to think about.
The Apostle Paul wrote, under inspiration “A man who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cherishes it.” And that is true that, we show love to ourselves in the way that we care for our own needs. However, due to the “Deceptive desires of the flesh” mankind have become overly self-indulgent. In fact, the Bible warned that one of the signs of the “Last days” would be that people would become “Lovers of themselves.” Is that a contradiction? No because Paul goes on to describe the results of a “Me-first” society - “They will be lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.”
The greatest commandment given by God, and repeated by Jesus was “You must love “THE LORD” (Yahweh, Jehovah) with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength.” When human beings put their own needs ahead of God and others, we lose God's blessing and favour and we become like “Unreasoning animals.” Hence, a world of selfishness and corruption.
It is right and natural to love ourselves, to feel a part of God's amazing creation, to use our abilities to help others and bring praise to our heavenly Father. However, we should “Not think more of ourselves than it is necessary to think” and we need to “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that, in due time, He will exault you.“ God loves unselfish, humble, meek people. In fact, Jesus promised that such ones “Will inherit the earth.”
So give yourself some love today but, save the most of your love for God, and your neighbour. If you do, not only will you have God's blessing and smile of approval but, you will happy inside.