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SELF-CARE/LOVE OR SELFISH CARE/LOVE?



Leviticus 19:18

Concepts and understanding of self-care and self-love are confusing to many, and rightly so. The messages we receive and are taught are often at odds with one another. What do the words care and love mean? What are their philosophical basis? Who do we deem important as definers of care and love?


Wikipedia tells us that self-love,”… has grown from selfishness, moral flaw, and narcissism to a more ‘positive’ connotation through Pride Parades, the Self Respect Movement, and the New Age feminist movement.”[1] So, according to this, “positive” self-love is accepting anything you see yourself to be and learning to love that for yourself, while refusing to glorify God (Revelation 16:19), since He is never mentioned. In contrast, the Bible defines loving yourself as being not self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13:5), but instead, God glorifying (Luke 1:46; John 21:19; Romans 15:9; Psalms 34:1-3; 63:3-4; 86;11-12). PsychCentral instructs that, “Self-love means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing.”[2]


The comparisons have to do with the world’s view and Biblical faith; removing God from the process of understanding or relying on Him and His Holy Word (the Bible) as the foundation for understanding love. Who do you set as the expert in these areas? Tina Fey, actress, “Don’t waste your energy trying to challenge opinions…Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”[3] Or how about Tina Turner, “You take your problems to a god, but what you really need is for the god to take you to the inside of you.”[4] In this example, deciding who is “a god” can leave you very vulnerable in finding truth.


The key is to depend on the One who has been the author of love since the beginning, the God of the Bible. He not only defines love, but models it in every way. He takes our own lack of ability to love, because of sin in our lives, and transforms us by His Son Jesus Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit and His Holy Word, the Bible.


2 Timothy 3:16-17 assures us that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” This certainly includes loving our own selves in God’s way so that we are able to love our neighbors for their benefit and God’s glory. Self-love is seeing ourselves from God’s perspective for what He has prepared for us to do and be to His glory. We rest assured that He chooses to prosper us (Deuteronomy 29:9; 1 Kings 2:3) as we give ourselves to Him. In this we have His work to accomplish (John 9:4’ Philippians 1:6; 2:12). We are to love, but we are to love in truth, not lies (Ephesians 4:15; 1 John 3:18).


Remember the seven woes that Jesus gave to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:13-36? He spoke of those who are hypocrites: clean on the outside, but full of greed and self-indulgence on the inside; and those who are like whitewashed tombs on the outside and full of dead bones and everything unclean inside. Not only should we personally avoid this, but also we should not encourage others to be like this by not speaking truth. An anonymous quote says it this way, “Twisting the truth to make you feel better is more disrespectful than the truth.”


May we be lovingly honest with respect to God’s truth as we message His love to the world around us.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-love [2] https://psychcentral.com/blog/imperfect/2019/05/what-is-self-love-and-why-is-it-so-important#What-is-self-love? [3] https://www.invajy.com/self-care-quotes/ #90 [4] https://www.invajy.com/self-care-quotes/ #105

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