Everyone is talking about self-love these days. You can’t scroll through social media, read a psychology article, or attend church without hearing something about it.
The problem is that all of these sources have different definitions of self-love.
Social media tells us we’re perfect just the way we are and should focus on ourselves above everything else.
Psychology tells us that self-love is about understanding ourselves better.
Even religious circles seem divided on the subject, with some focusing more on loving others than loving ourselves.
With so many voices, figuring out what it means to accept and love yourself can be tough.
The Need to Love One’s Self
Have you ever noticed how each generation seems to struggle more openly with mental health issues than the one before?
And one of the most common symptoms is a negative view of oneself. Social media seems to prescribe self-love as the ultimate solution.
It appears to recommend self-love as the best remedy to address this. But in the context of popular culture, what does loving oneself actually mean?
It often seems like self-love is equated with selfishness. We’re told to elevate ourselves above everyone else and focus on doing what makes us feel good.
But is that really the path to true self-love? Can we really achieve self-love through a new haircut or outfit, like we’re told on Parks & Rec and across social media?
Or is there something deeper we’re missing?
We have all felt like the world is trying to convince us that our worth is based on our appearance, abilities, objectives, wealth, loved ones, or any other material possession.
It can be tempting to place our identity in these things. However, doing so only invites comparison, which can make us feel worse about ourselves.
But here’s the thing—how much does our status actually affect our true worth?
It’s not really fair to measure ourselves based on things that are so fleeting and temporary.
Maybe there’s a deeper sense of worth that we’re missing out on when we focus solely on the external aspects of our lives.
The Truth About Self-Love
From a biblical perspective, self-love is about seeing yourself as God sees you. This means recognizing that you are not perfect but that God loves you anyway.
It means accepting yourself, flaws and all because God has accepted you in Christ.
And it means treating yourself with the same compassion, forgiveness, and grace that God extends to you.
Some people might argue that focusing on self-love is narcissistic or self-indulgent. But the reality is that we cannot truly love others until we first love ourselves.
We need to understand that we are loved and valued by God in order to be able to extend that love and value to others.
There’s a difference between healthy self-love and self-absorption. Healthy self-love is not about putting yourself above others or being selfish.
It’s about recognizing your inherent worth as a child of God and treating yourself with the same kindness and respect that you would offer to others.
The truth about self-love is that it is grounded in God’s love for us.
When we see ourselves as God sees us, we can love and accept ourselves for who we are and in turn, love and serve others with the same kind of love that God has shown us.
Made in His Image
Perhaps you’re struggling with feeling like your appearance determines your worth.
It’s a common struggle that many Christians face, and it’s easy to believe the lie that our worth is based on how we look or what we can do.
But what if I told you that you are valuable simply because you were made in God’s image?
It’s true—the Book of Genesis opens by telling us that God created human beings in His image. Each and every one of us is created with inherent worth and value.
This is regardless of our appearance, abilities, or any other external factors. Grasping this truth can be incredibly freeing.
Of course, this isn’t always easy to believe. After all, we live in a world that often tells us the opposite.
Society tells us that our worth is based on how much we accomplish, how much money we make, or how good we look.
But when we cling to the truth that we are made in God’s image, we can begin to let go of those external standards and find a deeper sense of worth that is rooted in something unchanging.
So, how can you learn to love and accept yourself despite your appearance? How can you embrace the truth that you are made in God’s image and find your worth in Him?
It starts with shifting your focus away from external standards and towards the truth of whom God created you to be.
When you do this, you can begin to see yourself the way God sees you—valuable, worthy, and loved.
Seeing Yourself As God Sees You
But do we really believe that? Do we see ourselves as God sees us, or are we stuck in our own negative self-image?
If we could see ourselves as God sees us, it could change everything.
When you start to see yourself as God sees you, you begin to understand that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
That’s when you begin to learn to accept and love yourself.
We are not defined by our mistakes, our appearance, or what others say about us. We are defined by our identity as children of God.
When we start to see ourselves through His eyes, we begin to see our worth and value in a new way.
This new perspective can help us to love and accept ourselves in a way that we may have never thought possible.
We no longer have to strive for perfection or validation from others because we know that we are already accepted and loved by God.
This frees us to be ourselves, embrace our strengths and weaknesses, and love ourselves for who we are.
Renewing Your Mind
Learning to accept and love yourself starts with seeing how God sees you.
It starts with understanding that you were made in God’s image, and even though you’re not perfect, you deserve to be loved.
You deserve to be loved by others and by yourself.
This can only happen when you renew your mind and focus on the truth of God’s word.
Meditate on verses that remind you of your worth and value in Him, and we can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth to you.
It’s not always easy to change your thought patterns, but with God’s help, you can begin to see yourself in a new light and love yourself as He loves you.