In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
February 13, 2008 — Valued by God — Matthew 22:34-40
Valentine’s Day always seems like a good time to remind people about the Lord’s love for mankind or our responsibility to care for neighbors and the needy. But the Bible also speaks of another important yet often overlooked type of love–that of self.
Many Christians are taught to believe that caring for one’s own person is a form of selfishness. Verses are frequently pulled out of context to support this erroneous view. For example, Paul’s remarks about himself use phrases like “foremost sinner” and “wretched man” (1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 7:24). Though these comments may seem disparaging, the apostle is actually glorifying God for the great work done in his life.
Some also challenge the idea of self-love by pointing to the admonition in Luke 14:26 that a man must “hate . . . his own life” to follow Christ. But Jesus is not promoting hostility; rather, He’s explaining that our allegiance to Him must be absolute, even when such loyalty is costly to us or those we love.
No scripture implies that the people God created–whether believers or unbelievers– are undeserving of love. Actually, the opposite is true. Jesus demonstrated that every person has value to God. Self-love should naturally grow out of a recognition that we’re precious to Him. Yet somehow, over the years, healthy appreciation of self has been mislabeled as egotism or pride.
Reverencing one’s own being is not self-centeredness. We’re to care for our body, mind, and soul as treasured possessions given by a God who loves us.