Self Love Gospel- Part 2

Self-love is all over the internet. Many of the elites and social influencers of Nairobi are preaching it all over the internet, especially on Instagram. In part one of the “self-love gospel” we talked about whether it was harmful and even biblical. We also talked about how self-love encourages to think of yourself as god as opposed to God being God. Today we’re going to continue looking at the mantra of self-love and look at it through the lease of the Bible.

Promised Peace

Self-love promises peace. It states that the more that I love myself, the more that I can be content in this world and the freedom to do the things that I desire doing. It is telling me to look more and more inwardly, and then I will have peace in this life. How will you maintain this promised peace from self-love during times of sickness, stress, hardship, grief, and even death? Many times we feel down and low during such times. Most people aren’t genuinely in love with themselves and able to find peace during such times. They are struggling emotionally. Self-love will let you down whenever you desire peace during troubling times.

However, true peace is a gift of God. It is something that is not found inside of you, but outside of you. Jesus is the one who gives us peace despite the troubles in this world (John 16:33). Everyone will struggle in this world. It is usual for anyone to go through times of sickness, stress, hardship, grief, and even death. Despite these challenges though peace is available from God. He gives fantastic comfort during difficulties. Consider the following examples.

  1. Paul received peace from the Lord whenever he had a thorn in his side (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

  2. Job believed that peace came from God even though he had great trials (Job 1:13-22; 2:7-10; 19:25-26). In the end of the book of Job, he got peace from God despite his trials.

  3. The Thessalonians received peace from their salvation in Jesus Christ about their future home in heaven after death (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

  4. Paul received peace from the Lord after singing a psalm while in prison (Acts 16:22-25).

  5. Paul received peace from the Lord whenever everyone abandoned him in prison (2 Timothy 4:16-18).

  6. King Josiah received peace from the Lord after he tore his clothing in repentance for the sins of Judah for generations (2 Kings 22:18-20). God promised him that for the rest of his life, he would not see the destruction of Judah, and it brought peace to Josiah.

Peace is something that God gives in the midst of the most terrible of circumstances. Do not look inside of yourself with self-love to find it look outside and up to the Lord. One way to maintain peace despite the circumstances in your life is to do the following:

  1. Maintaining a relationship with Jesus (Abide in him)- John 15:4-7

  2. Walking in the Spirit- Romans 8:6, Galatians 5:22

  3. Obedience to God’s Word- Psalm 119:165-167

  4. Prayer- Philippians 4:6-9; 1 Timothy 2:1-2

  5. Meditating on God & His Word- Isaiah 26:3

God is the one who offers peace to us even after we die. We have a place to go to where there is total peace and rest, heaven (Isaiah 57:2; Revelation 14:13; Luke 2:29). What does self-love offer you but more of you? Is there peace after you die when you love yourself? What is the logical outworking of self-love? The ultimate end is death and separation from God in hell. It is only through Jesus and having a relationship with him that you can find ultimate peace even after you die. Stop looking to self-love to try and give you peace. Look to God and cry out to him, and he can provide you with peace no matter if it is sickness, stress, hardship, grief, or death.

Misinterpretation of Scripture

Someone who reads this blog may be wondering about Luke 10:27 which says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” It may seem that this verse agrees with the very foundation of self-love, which is if I love myself, then I will be able to love others. However, that is not the essence of what Jesus is talking about. He is referring to the instinctual desire that we all have to protect ourselves from hardship and to seek our joy and happiness. We do this by washing our ourselves, feeding our ourselves, resting our ourselves, and doing enjoyable things with ourselves. If we do that to ourselves to protect ourselves and seek joy, then we’re to do the same to others.

For example, do you like injustice? The answer is no because naturally or instinctively you want justice in this world, therefore help others find justice in the way you want it. That is showing them, love. This desire to love others by assisting them in finding justice is not found by loving yourself; it is located in the foundation of loving God. Consider the thought that in Luke 11:42 Jesus says to the Pharisees “But woe to you Pharisees! For you, tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God.” You see, loving God and justice are wrapped up together as one thing. Indeed the foundation for justice is wrapped up in the love of God. So I love my neighbour because I love God. What helps me determine the best way to love my neighbour is based on what I would do for myself. I would naturally want justice; therefore, I help others find justice. I help them find justice because I love God. Loving God means that I will show love to my neighbour.

This is strengthened based on what follows Luke 10:27. Jesus tells the famous parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37. The Good Samaritan shows love to God by helping his neighbour who left half dead by thieves. He bandaged him and took him to an inn to be taken care of. He even spent money to do so. The fact that the Good Samaritan did this was because he had compassion on his neighbour, which was stemmed back to love for God, not his self-love. There is no mention that I love myself; therefore, I can help this poor man. It was based upon his compassion. Compassion has to be built into us through God himself, and that is strengthened by me loving him.

So, self-love is not the foundation for me loving my neighbour (Luke 10:27) it is loving God, and I determine how to do that by what I would want done to myself.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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