First of all, Happy Birthday to my mom! My mom’s birthday is November 7th which is today, and I am so thankful for my mother, for she has had a journey with her health, and she has been getting better, and the Lord has blessed us all, and I am so thankful for my mom! So happy birthday, mom.
Anyways, my title is confusing, I know, but it will make sense by the end, trust me.
2019; the year of self-help books, self-love books, and everyone wanting to love themselves, but personally, I have always felt “off” about the influx of self-love and self-help, and I always find myself alone in my thinking due to how big the industries of self-love and self-help are. I do not agree with the “self-love” mentality that has perpetuated society, because the thing is, is that I am not created to be about “self,” but I was created to worship God, not me.
A book cannot help me find myself if I am not embracing who I am in Christ, and no amount so called “self-love” will ever fill the void within my heart if I am not in love with Christ who died for me. In the end, only Christ’s strength can give you want you need, and it is only by His strength that we are justified and redeemed, but we have taken self-love to a new extreme; an extreme that has caused many people to hop on board.
You have the “I am not married because I’d rather love myself” crowd of women; however, this can become a very flawed mentality very quickly, for when you are married, it isn’t about selfishness, it is about selflessly loving your future husband, and so this “I want to love only myself mentality” is dangerous to a marriage, for it is not about you, it is about Christ, them, and then you are last.
You have the “I deserve perfection for I love my self” crowd of people, and yet these people will always be searching for the “perfect person,” for we are all broken from something and perfectionism does not exist outside of Christ.
And then you have the crowd who would rather read a book from a “motivational coach” who is only wanting to make a dollar, when these same crowds don’t realize that the truth is in God’s Word; the key to eternal joy, happiness, and love.
Quite frankly, I think we love ourselves too much, for we are becoming a narcissist culture of perfection seekers, and if you do not match that “perfect image” that they want, they call you toxic, and that is not toxic. An imperfect person who fails you isn’t toxic, they are just being human, and yet the self-love and self-help industry has created a bunch of people who overly love themselves into narcissism and unrealistic perfectionist fantasies.
Deep? Maybe, but we all know that deep down this is true.
Those “Five steps to becoming happy” books are just the author’s schemes of taking your money, because the tips may work for a short time, but they are never permanent. However, we have forgotten that the true book of life, joy, and grace is the Word of God, but we live in a time where people would rather read a clearance self-help book than the living, breathing Word of God.
Isn’t that sad?
We have become a world filled with people who want to better themselves or love themselves more, and yet the Bible is free online, but no one will reach out and read it’s truth. In the end, the root of self-love and self-help is not bettering yourself, but it’s self-glorification. In the end, we only want to work on our strengths, we only want to glorify ourselves, and we are becoming more and more prone to the “I” mentality rather than the “Jesus” mentality.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Greater is He, not I, but we live in a world where we say, “Greater is I” or “I am worthy,” but in reality, none of us are worthy of anything, none of us are entitled to anything, and what we deserve is death, darkness, and the dirtiness of our flesh and sin. That is what we deserve, but with grace, we can have so much more.
We have to stop with the constant loving of ourselves, for it isn’t about us, it’s about Christ and His glory. If we truly want to rid ourselves of toxicity, we have to relentlessly chase Christ, for we cannot do anytime by our own doing. The only thing that self-love and self-help books teaches us is that we can do it on our own, but the Word says we can do nothing on our own, for we are nothing without Christ.
In the end, the self-love and the self-help industry are making millions off of the vulnerability of people, and yet the grace of Jesus is free, the grace of Jesus will sustain you, and Jesus does not identify you by your sin, but He knows you by name. Do you want to feel loved? Go to the Word of God and see what He has done for you on the cross. Do you want help changing something or bettering yourself? Go into prayer with the Lord, seek Him wholeheartedly, and ask Him to work within you. Do you want to better you relationships, start with the one you have with Jesus.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
It all goes back to Jesus, not us, and self-help and “self-love” eliminates Jesus completely from the equation. It is not about how much I can love myself, for the more I love myself, the less of Jesus there is, and the more things become of about “my glory” than His, and when we begin to glorify ourselves, we will fall, for anything placed above Him will crumble. There is a reason the Lord says “I must decrease and He must increase,” for we are not mean to compete with or be above the Lord, and when we feed into loving ourselves more and more, we love Jesus less and less.
Now, I know this post is counter-cultural in the world we live in, but isn’t about self-love, but it’s about selfless love to the man who died for us on the cross, and when you love the man who died for you and gave everything so that you could live, then you begin to realize that you are loved by a perfect God, and that is what makes you complete and whole.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
Your worth only comes from the Lord, not because of anything you do, not because of any book you read, not because of how many people you cut out from your life, not because of “how strong you are;” therefore, without Christ and His grace, we are nothing but weak, sinful, and unworthy people, but though unworthy, we are loved.
We have taken our strengths and have amplified them to more than what they are, for many are depending on their strengths, many are giving themselves the glory, and many are placing Christ on a back burner.
We need to stop loving ourselves like we are, because that’s not selfless love. Self-love and self-help are flawed because it focuses too much on us and not enough on Christ. It focuses too much on our strength rather than the truth of the Word, and it programs us to becoming selfish thinkers to the point where if someone hurts us, we cut them out due to “self-loving,” but no one is perfect, and everyone will hurt you somehow, for if we can all fail the Lord, we will most definitely fail each other even more.
We need to selflessly love others even when they sin against us, and yet self-love teaches you to cut anyone out due to the ideals of perfectionism, and self-help teaches that you can do things on your own accord, but in reality, you can only do things because of Christ, not you.
When we stop focusing on ourselves and begin focusing on Christ, then we will see that we are happier, more joyful, and we see His love and grace take root in our lives, for we have given Him complete control, so if you want to become a joyful person who is radiant, stop loving yourself as much as you are and begin passionately loving Christ.
Seek Him above all,
Chase tenderness and truth,
Love others selflessly as Christ as loved you,
Find your identity in Him, for in Him is where our true identity is found,
And then when you are in a relentless pursuit of Jesus, you will notice that you have eternal joy, for you aren’t chasing yourself, but you are chasing the Living Water, you are chasing the one who will never run dry, and you are chasing the one who does not have a beginning or an end.
“but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”” John 4:14
Instead of “self-love,” we need to begin drinking deeply from the well, for when we drink deeply of the Living Water, we will never thirst again, and we live in an age where many seek the fountain of youth, and yet the fountain is right here in front of us; Jesus, but due to the hyperactive focus on ourselves, on loving ourselves, and about our strengths, we keep running dry due to not drinking from the Living Water.
On our own, we are nothing, but with the Living Water, He lives within us, and we will never fall due to His light living within us; therefore, let us stop focusing so much on loving ourselves, for when we begin the process of not loving ourselves, we find freedom, happiness, and joy in the Lord and His presence, for we are coming as we are to the throne of grace while letting go of perfectionism, and this is more precious than self-love or any self-help book in the world.
Therefore, I challenge you to begin to the process of not loving yourself as much as society wants you too, and begin to love Christ before yourself. Begin to focus on selflessly loving the Lord, on loving His mercy, on loving His grace, and drink deeply from the well, and I promise that you will find the well of everlasting joy, for those who abide in His love are kept safe within Him and will never thirst again.