The late famous American actress Lucille Ball once said: “I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.”
At the time of this writing, a search for the words “love” and “yourself” yields 163,388 books on Amazon.com. Presumably, if the results for searching for the exact phrase is accurate, 15,807 contain the phrase “Love Yourself” in the title.
For decades psychiatrists, motivational speakers, New Age gurus, mystics, Hollywood celebrities and self-help authors have been proclaiming to the world that we should love ourselves; and not only that, they insist we should love ourselves first.
According to self-love advocates, the reason for loving yourself as a priority is simple: since the nature of love is to give, and since you cannot give what you do not have, then it is imperative that you have love first within yourself before you can give or share that love to someone else.
They got that partly right.
Because of two things.
First, while it is true that the nature of love is to give (remember John 3:16 states that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son), they are mistaken when it comes to the source of love. 1 John 4:8 says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
The source of love is God, not the self. As a matter of fact, the very nature of God is love!
As for the second point, let us look at what Jesus said in Matthew 22:39: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
There you have it. Scripture does not teach us to love our selves because it shows us that we already love ourselves.
From the moment of our birth, as new-born babes, we have been self-centered and self-ish. And that has only led us to loneliness and emptiness.
Thank God he sent us his Jesus Christ!
The sooner we realize the truth that God is the source of love, the sooner we learn to share his love with others, the sooner our relationships with one another will be built on a foundation that lasts for eternity.
“Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:8a