Leviticus 19:18: “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.’”

Self-love has had a bad reputation. Still, there’s a good way to love ourselves, and there’s a bad way.

When we think of self-love we tend to think of narcissists who believe the world revolves around them. With a self-absorbed mindset however narcicists don’t do themselves any favors. Self-love doesn’t necessarily endorse self-preference. It sounds like an oxymoron, but in all reality we don’t love ourselves very well when we think of us first. Self-endorsement routinely causes division and isolates us. As a result narcissists live in a lonely world of one.

If we don’t know how to love ourselves very well it is doubtful we know how to love our neighbors very well. I believe this is why God asks us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  Loving ourselves and others simply belongs together. One doesn’t go without the other.

Loving ourselves appropriately is perhaps easier said than done. It seems to me, we tend to either overestimate or underestimate ourselves. I believe we won’t have a healthy relationship with ourselves unless we seek reconciliation with God. We understand our essence much better when we are close to the Lord.

Self-love in God’s eyes is accepting our essence. Appreciating who we are is a “Thank you” to our Creator. He loves us like no other. It’s so easy to love Him back. He is the reason why we can love our neighbor and ourselves like never before.

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