I have a question for you:
Who do you look at first after taking a group photograph?
Whose face or posture do you base your acceptance or rejection of a particular picture on?
How do you feel when the picture you think is beautiful is not accepted by others or even deleted?
I want to believe you feel exactly the way I do feel most times.
We have a natural inclination towards loving ourselves more than other people and it’s so innate that we don’t bother doing otherwise. No wonder we invented selfies.
I’ve heard people argue that Jesus said we should love our selves and we can’t love our neighbors if we don’t love ourselves.
This is only one half of the whole truth because Jesus didn’t say we should love ourselves, He said we should love our neighbors as ourselves. So loving oneself is always in par with loving others.
Loving oneself is not bad as long as we don’t do so above Christ and others. We are to love God more than our own lives and we are to love others as much as we love ourselves.
In practical terms, is this possible? Seeing that we have been sold the gospel of self-love and encouraged to do all we can to make ourselves happy.
Well, it takes a good understanding of God’s love for us to love others as ourselves and not always think of ourselves alone.
In our world today, self-love is often equated with happiness.
“What’s wrong with loving myself?” You may ask.
I know I might ruffle some feathers and step on some toes but I beg you to look with me through the lens of Christ.
The only time Jesus spoke about loving yourself was in relation to loving others. But these days we speak of self love regardless of other people.
I am not writing this to make you stop taking care of yourself or to demean yourself. I am saying you shouldn’t make self-love your ambition in life.
While it is good to build a healthy self esteem and regard ones self highly, we must never forget that there is an ‘ought’.
There is a way God expects me to regard myself- that is in relation to Christ and anywhere Christ is not standing unrivaled as the ultimate, I must bring myself down.
I must regard others better than myself but I must never think I am so worthless that God cannot use me. In the same way, I must never think that I am indispensable and God cannot do without me.
Don’t say “I cannot be insulted.” You can be insulted because Jesus was insulted.
Don’t say “I only go to where I’m celebrated not where I am tolerated.” Jesus went to both.
Learn to see yourself through the eyes of God and you will never have an unhealthy view of yourself. It’s very easy to either overestimate or underestimate ourselves in a bid to fit into certain pedigrees and levels of life.
As a Christian, don’t subscribe to talks such as “do what makes you happy” “self-love is my goal” these are counter-scriptural and must never be our mindset.
I see many people hide under loving themselves as an excuse not to do the work of God . They are so focused on themselves that they fail to see beyond their nose.
Self-love always leads to self-preservation and self-glorification. The more you love yourself above others, the more you hold back from giving your best and the more you begin to think you are too good and not worth all the ‘stress’ because like we say in Naija English “I cannot come and go and kill myself.”
This is a cycle that will limit us from going all out for Christ in our world and will make us miss out from the fullness of the life of Christ on earth.
I pray we grow in the love of Christ so much that we forget about ourselves and focus on loving the way Christ did and still does!
Self-love is not the gospel of Christ! Don’t make it your mantra in life!