Do you know what the real problem with your life is? It’s that you just don’t love yourself enough. After all, you can accomplish anything in life if you just learn to love yourself more. I’m betting that most days you wake up, look at yourself in the mirror, and sneer with anger and frustration at the hobgoblin you see there, never even connecting that your self-loathing is the source of your problems.
You get to work and have to face down all the day’s challenges. That to do list looks daunting, but with a good dose of, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh-darn it, people like me!” will make most of it a breeze!
That coworker you can never really get along with? I’m betting it never occurred to you that the issue between you might just be that she doesn’t like you because you don’t like yourself! So love yourself more! Turn that gaze inward and celebrate yourself, and you’ll see how much that person suddenly finds your personality magnetic!
Trouble in romance? Trying (and failing) to attract a mate? The key is to be really into you! A potential spouse will only be as into you as you are into you! And if you’ve already found someone and it seems like at times things are rocky, making it better starts with you recentering on yourself. Really!
If all this hasn’t impressed you with how important it is to love you, here are a variety of trite graphics:
Okay, have I sold it yet? Time to turn off the sarcasm…
The self-esteem movement is nothing new. You’ve probably heard it all before, so maybe you’ve come to a point where you’ve tuned it out, chalked it up to the ridiculous humanism it is. But what concerns me is that even if you have, guaranteed you know a good number of people who have not.
I’ve seen young Christians putting “Be You” posters up in their dorm rooms and on their lockers.
I’ve seen young parents posting images like those above on Facebook.
Recently I was made aware of an entire movement aimed at women called “The Lovability Movement,” which is aimed at helping women love themselves as a means to better their lives. Their tagline states, “Because the power to love oneself is the greatest power that a woman has.” Their first sentence of their philosophy statement is,”We believe that self love has the power to improve lives.”
This kind of philosophy is very attractive to people, especially young people. It uses compelling images and trendy viral marketing to spread its influence. It uses feel good language and upbeat music. Lots of pictures of young people standing in front of sunsets or smiling or holding their hands in the shape of hearts. More significant than all of that, it really appeals to the human nature that wants nothing more than to focus inward.
Here’s the simple truth: Loving yourself more will never bring you the fulfillment you desire.
You are not a firm foundation on which to rest your hopes and dreams. If you are resting your confidence on nothing more than yourself, you will always disappoint yourself. You will always come up empty in the end. Even if you could live days, weeks, even months in confidence of who you are and what you do, at some point your unflappable faith in yourself with be flapped. How many mistakes have you made in your life? How many times have you made big mistakes that shook your confidence in who you are? Where do you turn when that happens?
I suppose you could hang on to your confidence in yourself, even when you screw up big time. People who do that, though, often either minimize the problems they have caused, or they blame other people, institutions, or cultural norms. That kind of thinking only leads to narcissism, which drives people away. How many narcissists do you know who live happy and fulfilling lives, content with themselves and others?
So I’ll say it again: Loving yourself more will never bring you the fulfillment you desire.
If only there was something outside ourselves to which we could turn for hope and confidence. If only there was a source of love that didn’t depend on our own ability to love ourselves. If only there was someone we could go to who we could be sure would love us no matter what, even when we make huge, colossal messes of everything in our lives. If only there could be a being whose love for us was so complete that it depended on nothing but his goodness, and not on our beauty, talent, goodness, or lovability.
You know where I’m going with this?
Here’s the simple truth: You are loved. You have value in the eyes of God. You have hope. You have a place you can turn for confidence, a foundation on which to rest. And it is completely outside of you, so it does not depend on you.
You do not need to love yourself more. That’s just plain silly talk. What can your love for yourself add to how much God loves you? Your love for yourself is not even a raindrop in the ocean of God’s love for you. “Be yourself”? You’re a sinner, why would you want to be that? “Love yourself”? How far is does that get you?
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). That’s kind of incredible.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Can you imagine a more sure foundation for you to build your hope and confidence, to find your fulfillment in life, than God himself? And Christ died to give you that foundation.
“Be yourself”? “Love yourself”? Why would you settle for someone so unlikely to come through for you?
“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Let Christ be your life. Let his love bring you through each day. Let him be the foundation on which you rest.
And if you need a trendy image to post to your Facebook page, here it is in a nutshell: