You should go and love yourself!
Why it isn't selfish to take care of yourself.
It took me more than thirty years to finally understand that loving yourself is not being selfish.
Now, of course there are ways to love yourself selfishly, but not all acts of self-love originate in being egotistical. When you make the time to show yourself some love, it empowers you and builds your self-confidence. Notice that loving yourself is something you have to make the time for and not just wait for it to happen. I did that. I thought that after I spent all the time in the world putting others first that I would somehow earn time for myself. It wasn’t until I learned that time had to be made by me, that my life got happier.
Sometimes others create a picture of a person taking care of themselves as being self-centered and conceited. As I said before, there are ways to pamper yourself that can encourage you to become pompous. But not everyone who takes care of him or herself is a narcissist. When you do something nice for yourself, don’t feel like you have to explain it by saying you’re being selfish. So the real question should not be if we should love ourselves, but how we should love ourselves. Before we answer that we need to get to first things first.
God So Loved
Most Christians and even non-believers know the Bible verse John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” I’m so happy that that verse is as popular as it is.
However, I do think that in order for us to share with others about God’s love we have to experience it. It’s like me trying to tell someone that my pastor is a great father, but I am only relaying information that I learned from his sons. So before we can tell others about God’s love we need to have an experience in our heart to reveal it to us.
For some people, just thinking about Calvary’s cross and the sacrifice shared for the world more than two thousand years ago is enough. I agree the cross was epic and was enough to save the sins of the entire world population. I thank Jesus for that sacrifice. On the other hand, God has other love situations lined up for us to experience. Dying on the cross wasn’t the only thing.
I would like to say that if you have not experienced or felt his love then you can pray and ask him let you experience and feel it. It’s one thing to know that your life, family and gifts come from him and it is another thing to be able to say that you have felt his love surround you.
And the Bible teaches us that because God so loves us, we must love. Did you know that includes loving yourself?
How Should I Love Myself?
I would like to clarify what being selfish is. A famous wise man once said that selfishness is when you don’t give someone something that belongs to them. I would also add when you don’t give them something that you should give them.
It can be difficult to decipher what we should give to others when the Bible says that we should give freely to all men. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in. If we pray to him or listen for his voice, he can tell us when, what and how to give. Using our guide we can successfully figure out what to do in those and every situation.
For example, the other day I was in line at a restaurant and I was very hungry. It was to the point where I was going to pass out if I didn’t eat to stabilize my blood sugar. An elderly veteran was behind me and usually I would ask them to go ahead of me as a sign of respect and love.
However, I knew that if I didn’t stabilize the blood sugar I would end up in a hospital. So I literally went back and forth in my mind on whether to let him go in front of me. I decided not to and placed my order ahead of him. Was that love? Yes! I showed love to myself (and others around me, who would have had to take care of me if I ended up sick!) by taking care of my body. When I took the time to love myself I was empowered and strengthened.
Love may not always look the same. Of course there are some principles that are true to love, but we need the Holy Spirit to speak to us about what is needed in every moment. Yes, every moment. Don’t let other people force you to say yes to requests just because you call yourself a Christian. Christians love and we love wisely. And that means looking after ourselves so we are empowered and strengthened to keep loving God fully.