Is self love wrong?
I was just listening to this very enlightening Bethel Sermon of the Week Podcast a couple of days ago. I only listen to a few podcasts regularly and this is one of them.
P.S. If you’re not a fan of Bethel Church, guess what? We can still be friends. It’s okay.
Kris Valloton was speaking on Love and the different types mentioned in the Bible. And he really challenged us in his sermon to love ourselves.
As a leader, myself, within the Christian Community, and specifically in my work with women’s ministry, Self Love is a hot topic. I have spent years of my life encouraging women to love themselves, take care of themselves, make themselves a priority. Was this wrong?
After listening to Kris’ sermon and of course, doing my own readings within the Gospel, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that self love is incredibly imperative. And here’s why…
Jesus, the Son of God, gave His life for mine.
I feel like this is a huge “Ah-ha” moment for me. God loved us so incredibly much that he sent his only son to die for us. Not only was he killed, but he was tortured and humiliated. He was stripped of any dignity and left for dead hanging where others could watch the breath leave his earthly body.
And he did this for you and for me. He loved us that much. Are we honoring that by not loving ourselves?
For God so loved the world that he gave his
one and only Son, that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)
I was created in the image of God. Isn't that something worth celebrating and loving?
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
As a mother, I want my children to understand their true identity. That who they are and what they were created for far surpasses anything our human brains can comprehend. It far surpasses what social media, society, religion tells them their identity should be.
Because once you know your true identity in Christ, you’re powerful. Sure, you were powerful even before you knew this. But now, you have the entire blueprint of the power plant itself. You have access to every nook and cranny of the place. It’s been freely offered up to you on a silver platter, of sorts. All you have to do is accept it.
When you recognize who you truly are through your relationship with the Father, it’s a freaking game-changer. It’s the light bulb moment of all light bulb moments. It’s like living in the darkest of caves and then all of a sudden the sun is shining directly into that hole, and you can see everything. Knowing who you truly are is freedom. Chains will break and fall before your very eyes. Chains that you didn’t even know were there. Chains that have been choking the life out of you and your blood line for generations. They will be dust. No, they will be vapors in the wind.
That freedom? That love? That kind of self love? That’s what I’m talking about.
Love yourself so you can love others well.
Have you ever heard that old saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” I am not sure who gets full credit for this quote. But it sure wasn’t me. However, I have experienced this very thing in my life. I was pouring myself out to serve others in my life. I’m a momma, a wife, a sister, a co-worker, a leader, an influencer, a trainer, a teacher, a daughter…etc. This list is long and I could be here all day long listing the labels I wear and the ways I pour into others on a daily basis. And I know your list is just as long, friend.
And if we aren’t careful, we can wake up one day with a very empty cup. If we aren’t taking care of ourselves and focused on filling our own cups, as well– that is when the cracks start to widen into craters. That is where the enemy slips in, ever so covertly, to make sure you know you’re not enough and you’ll never be enough. It’s where satan will prey on your exhausted state. He will use whatever he can to wear you down, until you’re so empty that you think you’re unredeemable.
Do you know how well you can love others when you, yourself, are so worn down and depleted? I’ll tell you from experience, not very well.
When I was empty I couldn’t be a momma. I couldn’t be a wife. I couldn’t hope. I couldn’t breath. And the worst part? I really thought I was worthless; All of this because I didn’t take care of myself. I couldn’t love myself, because I didn’t know who I was or better yet, who’s. And I sure as hek, couldn’t love others well.
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:11 (NIV)
Let yourself be loved by the Father.
It seems simple enough. And it is, but sometimes it’s not always easy to let the Father love us. We all have baggage. Some of us are carrying around the weight of a heavy backpack on our backs, and some of us are carrying around the weight of the world on our backs. Regardless, we are all carrying something, and it’s painful. For whatever reason we may not feel worthy of love. We may feel like we are too dirty or we’ve messed up too bad for our Heavenly Father to love us. Maybe you feel unworthy. And maybe you can even give me a long laundry list of reasons why you don’t deserve the Father’s love. But listen up, friend…
You are worthy. He does not care what you’ve done. Do you hear me? IT DOES NOT MATTER– He loves you. Your Heavenly Father longs for you. He is waiting for you to let him in. He just wants to love you. And let me say it again, a little louder for those in the back; He doesn’t care what you’ve done. You could be the worst of the worst, and He is still waiting with open arms to embrace you.
That love, it’s unexplainable. It’s incomprehensible. To know it, you have to experience it.
Don't take my word for it.
I share all of this because it’s something that I have personally grappled with, and I know that there are others out there doing the same. I love sharing bible verses within my writings. But I don’t like to take things out of context. I hope that you won’t take my word for any of this. I hope you will do your own research. I hope you will have your own relationship with the Father. I hope you will read the Bible. And I hope you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth.
I want to leave you with this thought…
What would it look like for us to love ourselves the way Jesus loves us?
You see, at just the right time, when we were
still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very
rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though
for a good man someone might possibly dare to
die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in
this; While we were still sinners, Christ died
Romans 5:6-8 (NIV)
Here’s the thing; Once you realize your true identity, it’s game over because your true self– who you were created to be is so much more than you could even imagine. You were made with intention and purpose in mind. You were no accident, friend. When you truly know who you are or better yet– Who’s you are, that’s when you can really love yourself.
I don’t even have the vocabulary to describe how loved you are. I believe that’s one of the reasons the Bible is written in parables, in order for our human brains to even begin to grasp these Kingdom realm truths.
Friend, when you begin to step into who your Heavenly Father says you are, you’ll step into a self love that’s pure, humble, and LIFE CHANGING.
What are you waiting for?
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