Self-love Topical Study

<h2 class="heading-lg"><strong>What does the Bible say about self-love?</strong></h2><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 1:26</a>, in the image of God</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 8:1-6</a>, God cares for all creatures</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Proverbs 4:23</a>, from the heart flows the springs of life</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 16:24-25</a>, take up your cross and follow Jesus</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 22:37-39</a>, love God and love your neighbor as yourself</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 5:8</a>, God proved his love for us that while we were sinners Christ died for us</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Galatians 2:20</a>, we live by faith in God, who loves us and gave himself for us</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">2 Timothy 3:1-2</a>, people will be lovers of themselves</span></li></ul><h2 class="heading-lg"><strong>Sermon ideas about self-love</strong></h2><h3 class="heading-sm"><strong>Love for neighbor</strong></h3><p><span class="body-copy">Jesus assumes that we love ourselves. In Matthew 22, Jesus assumes that we love ourselves and offers no criticism. The idea in neighbor love is to wish your neighbor well, as you do yourself. Do good things to your neighbor as you do to yourself. You wouldn&#39;t slander yourself; don&#39;t slander your neighbor either. You shouldn&#39;t lie to yourself; don&#39;t lie to your neighbor either. You wouldn&#39;t fail to feed yourself, so feed your hungry neighbor too. In general, we don&#39;t seek our own good from (so to speak) ulterior motives. We naturally seek what&#39;s good for ourselves or, at minimum, what we think is good for ourselves. And Jesus summons us to approach our neighbor in the same natural style.</span></p><h3 class="heading-sm"><strong>Human beings are paragons</strong></h3><p><span class="body-copy">Genesis 1 and Psalm 8 teach us that human beings are paragons within the world: We bear God&#39;s own image. Respect for ourselves, care of ourselves, good will toward ourselves are all appropriate recognitions of our God-given status. Even our sinful selves &mdash; the selves we need to deny, starve, drown, wholly reject &mdash; are worthy enough that Christ died for them. No familiarity with this theme can erase its mouth-opening astonishment.</span></p><h3 class="heading-sm"><strong>Conceit</strong></h3><p><span class="body-copy">In 2 Timothy, self-love appears in a vice list. This signals that now we are talking not about healthy benevolence toward oneself, but about conceit. Conceit is exaggerated self-regard, a vice we detest in others but sometimes warmly nurture in ourselves.</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">Conceit is idolatry and an excellent example of folly, given that it is destructive of intimacy and fellowship, spiritually suffocating, and finally futile (the more self-absorbed we are, the less there is to find absorbing). In a monologue Al Franken says, &quot;Look, a lot of you out there are conceited. You admire yourselves way too much. I want you to stop admiring yourselves and start admiring me, Al Franken.&quot; When we laugh, it&#39;s a laugh of recognition. We&#39;ve met conceit before &mdash; sometimes embarrassingly close to home.</span></p>