Some folks like to talk a lot about “self-esteem” and how we need to learn to love ourselves…
Apparently they never read the Bible…
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it
For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
According to the Bible, we do not have to be taught to love ourselves and we don’t need to love ourselves any more..
Just spend some time observing kids in a pre-school or kindergarten and you will see they do not have to be taught to be selfish or self-centered. We are all born slaves to the flesh and sin, knowing how to be selfish and thinking the universe revolves around us.
The problem is that we already know how to love ourselves too much.
It may not be popular or tickle any ears, but the Bible puts our position in a different light…
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our works of righteousness are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Instead, we need to be taught that we are NOT the center of the universe and we need to be taught how to love others.
The greek word for unconditional love, agapao, means to totally give ourselves over to something.
Unconditional love is self-LESS-ness. The opposite of love is self-ISH-ness.
Prideful, selfish, self-absorbed people are easy to spot. They are consumed with themselves and their primary focus of attention is on themselves.
…to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Some may say, “what about people who have low self-esteem?”
The problem is no different. A person down on themselves wallowing in self-pity is still being consumed with “self”, and they have given over their focus of attention to themselves. Also, a person can still be prideful about how “lowly” and “humble” they are…
Instead of spending our time thinking of ourselves, whether how great or pitiful we are, we need to think on these things…
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
The time we spend thinking of Him and preferring others in love, the less time we will have to spend thinking of ourselves…
Instead of esteeming ourselves, which we are born already knowing how to do, we need to highly esteem God and put Him before ourselves…
Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”