“Your life will be better if you just love yourself more”

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.”

Oy.

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:

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6 thoughts on ““Your life will be better if you just love yourself more”

  1. Hey Brandon, before I got to the pics and read your “enough sarcasm” I was thinking “hmmmm has he gone off the deep end?” Didn’t see it as sarcasm— think you need to hint at it like “the world’s solution …..etc”. Just swaying — about the time I was to the caption pictures I was saying, “tell them to walk as a follower of Christ; shine out His light in you to the world”. Well, thes are my thoughts. You got there and that was wonderful!
    So glad I can now get the notifications. 🙂

    1. Sounds like I didn’t quite lay it on thick enough in the opening. Maybe I should add in a “Warning: Sarcasm ahead” at the beginning of the post? 🙂 Thanks for reading and reflecting!

  2. Dear Sir,
    I’m a Christian woman with #selfesteem issues that stem from a life long battle with several things. I understand your point, and it’s beautiful. I do not know about your past or if you’ve ever battled with this issue so I would like to give you my thoughts. As a# Christian you know that you’re a sinner and fall short everyday, you also know that #God loves you more than words can describe. In fact so much that he reassures you that nothing can ever separate his #love from you, not your actions, time and space, not even if you’re condemned to the depths of hell. Pretty powerful stuff right? It feels powerful knowing this, It’s almost like a sense of high to know that the almighty creator has chosen you before you were even a thought. The problems isn’t that you are not aware of this, nor is it that you don’t believe. It’s the #overwhelming sense of nothingness withing the #darkest part of your mind that overpowers every other emotion. It’s feeling as if your’re sinking into the abyss of gloom and feeling #unworthy . I disagree that the “love yourself” movement / motivational message isn’t the way to go. I also find that constantly ministering to the youth about their unworthiness while encouraging them to believe in Christ’s love is ineffective. If you’re constantly told how unworthy and what a sinner you are why should you love yourself? Do we not already know this? I notice that what Christ teaches is distorted by the good intentions of men. How can you break someone down then try to build them up? That’s not the job of men in this world, God humbles you then builds you back up. I digress. Along with low self -esteem comes depression which then turns into another demon.It’s thinking of ways to end it all b/c nothing seems worth it. Then it’s all consuming and your digging to find the light. Yes ! God is with me, but dear lord the weight of this is like a sinking tar pit. Tell people to love themselves, tell them that they are something special b/c God loves them too. Combine the messages. Yes! Be yourself and Love yourself b/c God didn’t make a mistake when he created you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s not silly talk. The bible itself promotes loving yourself. It’s the building foundation of a better relationship with Jesus (Yeshua) . I may sound erratic and allover the place. I goggled “love yourself” b/c I’m a a low point right now and tears are running down my face faster than I can wipe them away. I copied the picture of F.L.Y and cried a little bit more in gratitude that someone out there understands what it feels like. It’s extremely hard to rise above this. It’s a daily battle of dieing and trying to be reborn with righteousness; of emptying yourself of yourself and fill it with God when you don’t think you’re even worthy of that attention. Give people the confidence that David had when he said that all of heaven will come down to avenge him should he call upon God. Love God, Love YOURSELF , God is within you, you can’t have one w/o the other. My favorite scripture “He who does not know love does not know God b/c God is love ” 1 John 4:8 Is the love of self not encompassed in that statement?
    Conclusion: if you cannot find it in yourself to love yourself, than you’ll find it that much harder to believe that God loves you. Which then defeat the purpose of listing the great virtues of that love, it will simply be as trivial as you find motivational campaigns to be.

    Thank you for reading,
    Kimmy

    1. Dear Kimmy,
      Not knowing your life and your situation, I dare not minimize the struggles you have or the peace you’ve found. I certainly don’t want anyone to get the impression that I think we should all walk around beating ourselves up and hating on ourselves; that isn’t healthy.

      However, I will say this: There is no surer consolation for the distressed soul than to know that we are loved in spite of ourselves by a God who has every right to hate us. When he comes to me and tells me that I have value to him, and calls me his child, and tells me that his love is everlasting… it is then that I know peace. I’ve been told at times in my life that I need to believe in myself, but I have only been disappointed by myself; I find no peace in believing that I can do anything. I’ve been told at times in my life that I need to love myself first, but I easily find in that an excuse to be selfish, which only makes me love myself less; I find no peace in looking inward. I find peace in one source only: the love of my God, manifested in Jesus Christ.

      You are a beloved child of God. He has claimed you as his own. Whether you love yourself or not, whether you are sinking in despair or soaring in spirit, it makes no difference to his love for you. His love is unchanging, strong, enduring, and constant. It is there for you always. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

      1. Thank you for your kind words and your cherished reply. I’ve reread this response many times over and have received your message. It’s times like these when I am grateful that someone cares enough to further clarify their original thoughts. I’ve taken a step back from the lord and as such there is a void that will not be fill, not matter the measures I use. I am trying to relearn how to let go of me and be filled up with him. I’ve been beaten down and am weary, I fear that I’m losing all hope and my soul longs for the peace I’ve once found in HIM. Again sir, thank you for your kind explanation. Please pray for me, I will also do the same. I pray many more young ladies and gentlemen can read and absorb your message.

        -Kimmy.

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