On Loving Yourself

Last week I wrote a post titled "Loving Yourself {so you can love your neighbor}". I have since changed the title as it raised some notable questions.The Heart When I began writing the article, it stemmed from some of my own issues that I dealt with on sin and failure. Sometimes I just got so frustrated with myself that I really didn't like myself. Digging deeper, I wondered if I had any worth whatsoever. I don't know if the word "love" is out of place for some of the things I had felt, but when it came down to it, I felt convinced I simply didn't love myself.

Whether or not that was true didn't matter at the time - that's what I believed.

The idea of loving one self can seem conceited and selfish, because, well, it is, if you are a lover of self.  Lovers of self can't get past their own self; even their own pain or lament.

Maybe even complaining over all the things I fail to do right is still being all about myself. Because all I'm focused on is what I can't do and how I don't measure up. It's not about that anymore - because of Christ. He took care of that so I wouldn't have to "worry" about it and now can simply focus on Him, and His glory - rather than me and my shortcomings.

That's how we become separated from God, and he died so that would no longer be a barrier in our relationship. So, to take it back and constantly "worry" about how "bad" I am is kind of like a dog returning to it's vomit (gross, right?!) -Proverbs 26:11

So, this issue of "loving yourself"- maybe it's really about God loving you. We are empowered to love others because God loves us. I think the barrier comes in when we don't believe God truly loves us.

Mark 12:31 says

'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Then, 2 Timothy 3:2 says

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy...

So what makes these two uses of the word "love" different?

As I looked up love from Mark 12:31 and lover from 2 Timothy 3:2 in Strong's Greek - Hebrew Dictionary, here's what I found:

Love in Mark 12:31 is translated from the Greek word agapaō and literally mean "to love"

Lover in 2 Timothy 3:2 is translated from the Greek word philautos and literally means "selfish" or "fond of self"

These words clearly have two different meanings. When I wrote that post last week, I was referring to Mark 12:31, which was stated in the title, though never specifically addressed within the post body.

The bottom line is, I don't want to lead people astray. When I wrote about loving ones self, I didn't mean it in a conceited, selfish way. There is a way to love yourself that shows you value your self as God's creation.  But maybe what seems like loving yourself, is really accepting God loves you.

{See, I don't have all the answers - I'm simply trying to work them out} :)

When you accept that God loves you, and since He is your Creator and the only Person who matters, you recognize you have value in His eyes.

Your value and His love for you are demonstrated in the Gospel. But if we don't believe we have value or are worth loving, we make God out to be a liar. Because He says you are - and His word is the only one that matters.

So, all that to say, dear friends, regardless of how many times you have failed, you are worth being loved. And you are worth the price Jesus paid on the cross to bring you life in Him and life with Him.

So stop walking around in self-defeat and walk in Truth - the truth is you are FREE from the bondage of sin. Believe it so you can walk  in it and better serve and love God--and others.

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