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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Self love

Pastor Ryan Black

Cedar Springs Christian Church

340 West Pine Street, Cedar Springs

 

While it is a great good to seek self-sacrifice and self-denial in our relationship with God and others, we also want to be weary of demeaning ourselves to the point of self-hatred. While we are called to be lowly in Spirit (Proverb 16:19) and to lay down any self-pride, we must also be careful not to demean our own selves. We must recognize and embrace the value given to us by our Father who made us good.

In the Bible, Paul illustrates the idea of not despising ourselves but the flaws and effects of our brokenness. (Romans 7:14,15, 20, 24, 25).  In this way, Paul shows us how to apply to ourselves the saying, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” He then goes on to share that even with the guilt of doing what we hate, we still preserve great value as children of God. “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God…and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:14, 17).

We cannot hate what God loves, whether this refers to others around us or ourselves. We need to hinge on God’s love for us to overcome the temptation of self-hatred. God loves us, and sent his son Jesus on the cross to prove it. The whole gospel message is built on His love for us. This love should remind us of our true value as humans. When we keep in mind our worth, it helps us to love ourselves in the balanced way that we are meant to.

We should not misunderstand this love with the modern day notion of self-esteem, which is simply an artificial “good feeling” about oneself. This balanced love of self is not feeling good about the nice things we can do. This is a love of self in which we seek the true good for ourselves, forgiving ourselves when we fail, and accepting ourselves totally with all of our talents and weaknesses, realizing that we are not perfect, but we are also not hopeless. Remember, God told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. How can we do that if we do not have respect for ourselves? We are created in His image in which we find our identity. That would indicate a whole lot of worth.

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