In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
February 14, 2008 — The Truth About Love of Self — Galatians 5:13-14
Although a number of places in the Bible contain the command, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19; Galatians 5:14), Christians often overlook the “as yourself” part. But no one can fully love the Lord or anyone else unless he loves his own being. This means reverencing oneself as a child of God, created for fellowship with Him.
All people are valuable to the Lord. But the believer’s self-worth is rooted in the fact that we have a relationship with God. We are to care for ourselves, based upon the fact that He has provided for our salvation, given us the Holy Spirit, and developed a unique plan for our life.
Love of self is essential to God’s plan for every believer. He desires that we exercise care for our own person, which helps us relate to Him. If we dislike ourselves, we may feel unworthy of God’s love and refuse to approach Him as Father. But love teaches us to see ourselves the way the Lord does–as available vessels, each with unique gifts and talents. Then we can offer greater usefulness to the kingdom. Using us to the fullest extent of our God-given abilities is the Father’s goal, and if we have a righteous love for self, that will be our goal too.
Whoever you are and whatever your circumstances may be, I can tell you something about yourself. God has a special plan for you. But He cannot set you on the path to achieving His goals for your life until you recognize your worth and learn to love the person He created you to be.