Self love. Do I believe in self-love?
The answer is, no. Not really. Not how the world believes in it…
First, you can’t just tell someone that they need to love themselves (or love themselves more). If they knew how to do that, they’d probably already be doing it. No one really chooses to not love themselves.
Second, when you decide nothing else is going to come before YOU and YOUR wants, feelings, and needs… that’s not self-love. That’s selfish love.
Give it enough time and that kind of love becomes rude, demanding, conceited, arrogant, prideful, bossy, disrespectful; and, well, ugly… it’s like you look into a mirror and decide that you’re more valuable than anyone else around you, which isn’t true. From the smallest to the greatest, we are all human—all in this race together—all in need of the same thing: love. We are all valuable. All. equally. valuable.
I do believe, however, that everyone should know how amazing they are, how they were created unique with intention and purpose, and how there isn’t anyone else on this earth that could replace them. I do believe in people understanding their value, yes, the value we all have, and falling in love with it and how we’ve been so thoughtfully formed. I believe in that kind of “self-love.”
Self-love is such a hot topic, and I could go on and on about it; but, in short, what we are calling “self-love” is not self-love. It’s selfish love, and selfish love will eventually take it’s toll and cause more division and destruction than unity and growth.
If you want to be able to “self-love” without it becoming selfish love, you first must be able to freely receive love, just as you are, for who you are. You must be able to know that your 100% known, every part of you, and perfectly loved, despite the worst of you. No guilt, no strings, just unconditional love because you’re YOU.
There is only One who can give you this love; only One who can satisfy your need for this love at your core—God. It’s in Him that you’ll be filled, freely able to receive, freely able to give. THAT is the way to real “self-love,” a far cry from a me-focused, selfish “self-love.”
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV)