The Necessity of Loving Yourself
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Health and Wellness

The Necessity of Loving Yourself

Why Christians should stop equating self-love with selfishness.

The Necessity of Loving Yourself
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The topic of self-love is often blown out of proportion in the church. Perhaps some people have made a religion out of the statement in Matthew "you shall love your neighbor as yourself," citing it as a command to love ourselves, while some promote dying to one's self in an unhealthy way.

I believe that a healthy Christian will practice self-love. Self-love is not self-obsession or self-seeking; instead, it is loving yourself as a creation of God just as you would any other human. When I think of self-love, I think of love in a Biblical, pure sense. It is not self-seeking, it does not boast, it doesn't insist on its own way. No true love is selfish, including self-love. Self-love leads to a healthy love and understanding for others.

Lack of self-love leads to insecurity, self-harm, anxiety, depression, jealousy, incapable of giving to others, hostile reaction to love, doubt in someone else's love for you, etc. Lack of self-love is crippling.

The presence of self-love, however, leads to peace, freedom to love others/lack of jealousy, openness, joy, approachability, and the confidence to give and share yourself with others. In other words, self-love leads to the presence of the Spiritual fruit. Anything less than that is not truly self-love. Self-love will actually reduce pre-occupation with self because you will not feel a need to seek out affirmation from others or over-analyze yourself. Instead, you will be focused on maximizing your body, soul, and spirit to the capacity that the Lord created it to reach.

Self-love is not allowing yourself to Netflix and chill for three consecutive days. It is not drowning your heartaches in coffee, wine, chocolate, or Chipotle. It is not letting people down on your commitments because you didn't feel like following through. These are posers. They're not healthy choices, and they're not self-love.

However, self-love may be taking a coffee break, taking a nap, relaxing with friends, watching a movie, creating something, or meditating. Self-love practices won't have you coming out of your apartment looking like a zombie; it will leave you refreshed. Taking a reasonable time out for yourself is not selfish; it is healthy.

If my coffee cup is empty, it doesn't refill itself. I have to take it back to my Keurig for a refill. If your soul is empty, it's not going to somehow refuel itself. Just as your body has to have food, your soul has to experience refreshment as well, and the deepest refreshment will come out of worship and spiritual communication with the Lord.

If you're exhausted, your soul is empty, and you have nothing left to give, taking a breather is not selfish. After you allow yourself to be refreshed, you will come back to your world invigorated and ready to love others in a deeper way than before. Choose practices that will leave you feeling whole, refreshed, and a deeper person in mind and spirit.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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