Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Romans 12:9 (MSG)
“Friendship- my definition- is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.” ― Stieg Larsson,
Self-control, self-reliance, self-worth, self-esteem, self-view. Lots of psychological terms that all define loving ourselves. When researching bible commentary regarding this subject, I was surprised that many Christian authors, ministers, scholars have a view that “loving ourselves” is secularism. Created by man to perpetrate the belief that man does not need God – that power is within “self.”
Hmmm, I can understand that we can get “full of ourselves” and become too self reliant to depend on God. Actually, have been there and done that and suffered consequences. BUT what about the portion of us who struggle with self esteem and are Christian? Those of us that love others and sacrifice ourselves to please others? Have others well being foremost at heart rather than our own? There has to be a balance and a spiritual viewpoint regarding low self esteem.
I believe God “wants” us to have a healthy view of ourselves. . Jesus said that we should love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). That implies a sound concept of self-esteem. Sadly, however, many of us deal with a low appreciation of ourselves due to many factors (history of abuse, substance abuse, critical self thinking, being overly concerned with material things). Sometimes it affects are ability to love and serve God. This can times, permeate our relationships, drive our decisions. An unhealthy self-view can, thus, affect our lives. But there is “good news”:-)
The Bible presents two simple facts which, if embraced, can provide us with a healthy self view and a mark of individual excellence. 1. We possesses dignity by virtue of our divine heritage (ie being made in the image of God. 2. Though everyone has dealt with or is dealing with sin, man can regain his self-esteem through the process of spiritual rebirth and regeneration.
Having a healthy self view is harder work for some of us than others. But it can be improved. We can find our voice, through God by embracing our heritage through him and having a close relationship with our “Father”.
Father God – Thank you so much for Your great love for us and creating us “in Your image”. Nudge us to love others as You love us. However, help us to remember that we are “Your children” and deserve to be treated as such in friendships/relationships. Thank You for Your faithfulness and constant love. Amen