For a long time, I always thought self-love was selfish, inconsiderate and not Christ-like. After I went through a series of mental breakdowns and fought my way through depression, I understood the importance of self-love. In this article, I will share bible verses about self-love, the meaning of self-love and the significance of self-love. Get a cup of coffee and enjoy this impactful read.
In this article
What is Self-love in the Bible?
According to brain & behaviour, “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others”
When explaining self-love in a biblical context, it’s essential to clarify that this concept isn’t about arrogance or self-centeredness. Instead, it refers to a deep appreciation of oneself as God’s creation, recognizing your worth in His eyes. Although many people do not understand the true meaning of self-love, some people believe self-love to be “doing anything I want with my body”, “lack of respect for what other people think even when your actions affect them negatively” or “thinking of yourself without putting others into consideration”, that is not self-love.
The Foundation of Self-Love for Christian
The foundation of self-love for Christians is deeply rooted in our faith and understanding of God’s love and purpose. Here are some of the things that form our foundation for self-love as Christians:
1. Divine love: Christian self-love begins with acknowledging God’s unconditional love. We understand that we are God’s cherished creations, made in His image, and loved by Him. This recognition of divine love forms the bedrock of our self-worth. If we can accept God’s love then we have shown ourselves love.
2. Understanding Identity in Christ: we believe that our true identity is in Christ. We see ourselves as children of God, and this shows our worth and value as God’s chosen one.
3. Forgiveness and Redemption: Central to the Christian faith is the concept of forgiveness and redemption through Jesus Christ. Understanding that our sins are forgiven and letting go of past hurt is self-care.
4. Self-Reflection and Growth: in recent years, I have discovered the importance of self-growth and personal development for Christians. While growing spiritually, we must also endeavour to grow in other areas too. The more we grow, the more impact we make in the world.
5. Prayer and Meditation: many people see prayer as a necessity but, not all pray with the right intention. Praying and meditating on the word of God builds our faith and improves us. Continuously engaging in prayer and meditation is an act of self-love with great rewards.
6. Supportive Christian Community: Belonging to a faith community provides essential support and encouragement. Fellow believers help reinforce the message of God’s love and self-worth, fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance.
7. Loving Others as Yourself: The Golden Rule
In Mark 12:31, Jesus instructs us to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This commandment implies that we should love ourselves as a prerequisite for loving others. Self-love, in this context, serves as the foundation for extending love and compassion to those around us.
Is Self-love Important for Personal Growth?
Self-love is a fundamental aspect of personal growth. I believe you will grow and improve yourself if you love yourself. Personal growth allows individuals to embrace their identity in Christ and walk in confidence. By understanding and applying the principles of self-love rooted in the Bible, we can lead more fulfilled and purpose-driven lives.
Biblical Examples of Self-love
Self-love, in the context of the Bible, can be understood as a deep sense of self-worth and identity rooted in God’s love and purpose. While the term “self-love” may not be explicitly mentioned in the Bible, there are several individuals whose stories and experiences demonstrate a healthy sense of self-worth and a strong connection with God’s love. Here are some examples:
1. David: King David is a man known for his faith and resilience. He expressed a deep connection with God. In Psalm 139:14, he acknowledged his own worth as a creation of God, saying, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” David was a man who understood his worth, he was not afraid to face the lion, bear and Goliath. Throughout his experiences, he acknowledged how precious he was to God and God’s plan.
2. Mary Magdalene: Mary Magdalene’s encounter with Jesus is a powerful illustration of self-love. Despite her past struggles, she experienced forgiveness and transformation through her faith in Jesus. Her love for Jesus and her commitment to following Him exemplify a deep sense of self-worth. She forgave herself, and she followed Jesus until the very end.
3. Ruth: Ruth’s story, found in the Book of Ruth, showcases her unwavering loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Her commitment to caring for Naomi and her willingness to embrace a new life demonstrate self-love grounded in empathy and faith. Ruth was not afraid to find a new path for herself; she could have refused to marry Boaz or move on in life. She picked up the pieces of her life and she found peace in her decision.
4. Paul: The Apostle Paul’s writings reveal his understanding of his identity in Christ. In passages like Galatians 2:20, he emphasizes the importance of recognizing one’s worth through a relationship with Jesus: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” He knew the plans of God for him and he faithfully followed God till the very end.
5. The Woman with the Issue of Blood: The Woman with the Issue of Blood is a story of a courageous woman who had self-love and defied the odds. She was bleeding for 12 years and needed healing. Some women would have resigned to faith; some would be too ashamed to go out of their homes because they were considered unclean by society.
She touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and she was healed. She didn’t allow the crowd or society to stop her. Her determination and belief in her worthiness to receive healing highlight the concept of self-love in the context of faith.
6. The Prodigal Son: The parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 is the story of a young man who, after making poor choices, returned to his father in humility. His father’s loving and forgiving response demonstrates the idea of recognizing one’s worth, even after making mistakes. It is self-love to admit our mistakes, accept them and improve ourselves.
Bible Verses about Self-love
Although the word self-love cannot be found in the Bible, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t want us to love ourselves. In this section, we will delve into different bible verses that encourage self-love and self-acceptance.
1. Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
This verse reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Embracing this truth is a significant step in self-acceptance and self-love.
2. Romans 14:1 – “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarrelling over disputable matters.”
The bible verse teaches us to accept one another, emphasizing the importance of acceptance even in our moments of weakness and vulnerability.
3. 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins.”
Self-forgiveness is a crucial aspect of self-love. 1 John 1:9 reminds us of God’s forgiveness when we confess our sins, encouraging us to forgive ourselves as well.
4. Psalm 103:12 – “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
The distance between the East and the West is immeasurable, symbolizing the complete removal of our sins. This verse reassures us of God’s forgiveness and the need to forgive ourselves.
5. Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus invites us to find rest in Him, demonstrating His compassion. We can extend this compassion to ourselves during times of weariness and burdens.
6. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – “God… comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
God’s comfort in our trials enables us to comfort others. It also serves as a reminder to be compassionate and gentle with ourselves during our difficulties.
7. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?”
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We have a responsibility to take care of our bodies by living healthily. When we maintain a healthy lifestyle we are doing ourselves a favour and showing ourselves love.
8. Psalm 17:8 – “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”
Psalm 17:8 reflects God’s protective and caring nature, reinforcing our worth as cherished and protected individuals.
9. 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
Insecurities can make us timid, but 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that God’s Spirit empowers us with love and self-discipline, helping us overcome insecurities.
10. Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?”
When we recognize God as our light and salvation, we can find the courage to overcome fear and insecurities.
11. Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Trusting in God’s plan for our lives is a manifestation of self-love. Jeremiah 29:11 assures us of God’s good intentions for our future.
12. Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Trusting in God’s guidance allows us to let go of anxieties and uncertainties, leading to a deep sense of self-love and self-confidence.
13. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Gratitude for all we have, our abilities, and our unique qualities agrees with 1 Thessalonians 5:18’s message of giving thanks in all circumstances.
14. Psalm 100:4 – “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Gratitude is part of the broader act of giving thanks to God, as expressed in Psalm 100:4. When we give thanks we acknowledge the sovereignty of God.
15. Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:32 encourages us to be kind and compassionate, a mind-set that extends to being gentle and forgiving toward ourselves.
16. Luke 6:37 – “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Forgiveness is a two-way street. As we forgive others, we also find the grace to forgive ourselves, as emphasized in Luke 6:37.
17. Psalm 23:2-3 – “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.”
This scripture symbolizes the rest and restoration provided by God, emphasizing the need for self-care in our lives.
18. Proverbs 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Our hearts are very important. We must guard our hearts and control what goes into our hearts and thoughts. We must control what we allow to get to us, a principle that includes setting emotional and relational boundaries to nurture self-love.
19. Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
20. Psalm 139:13 – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
21. Lamentations 3:40 – “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”
Self-reflection, as encouraged in Lamentations 3:40, aids us in assessing our ways and aligning ourselves with God’s path.
22. 1 John 4:7 – “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.”
Loving others is closely linked to self-love, as we draw love from God to extend it to those around us, as emphasized in 1 John 4:7.
23. Galatians 5:13 – “Serve one another humbly in love.”
We are encouraged to serve one another humbly, emphasizing the importance of self-love as the foundation for serving with love.
24. Proverbs 11:14 – “For lack of guidance, a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”
Seeking guidance and advice, whether from trusted individuals or professionals, is a way to express self-love by valuing your well-being and growth.
25. Galatians 6:2 – “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
This scripture underlines the significance of supporting one another and sharing burdens, including the need to seek help when necessary.
26. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Luke 12:6-7
27. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
28. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” – 1 John 3:1
29. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
30. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Matthew 22:37-39
31. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” – Colossians 3:12
32. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4
33. “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:14
34. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
35. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
36. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
37. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
Self-love is a transformative force that enables us to grow, forgive, accept, and love ourselves as God’s cherished creation. As we journey through these scriptures, we discover that embracing our worth in God’s eyes is the foundation of true self-love. By accepting his love, we unlock the potential for growth, resilience, and inner strength, fulfilling the commandment to love others as ourselves.
Remember, self-love is not about selfishness or arrogance but recognizing your worth as a beloved child of God and caring for yourself in a way that honours Him. May these verses encourage you to embrace self-love in a healthy and godly manner.