Today’s post is an unbiased presentation of how society defines self-love.
A quick Google search brings up this definition of self-love, “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).”
To expand on this definition, The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation offers, “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 own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve. Self-love means accepting yourself as you are in this very moment for everything that you are. It means accepting your emotions for what they are and putting your physical, emotional and mental well-being first.”
A self-claimed progressive church called Sojourn Grace Collective in San Diego, California, claims, “Jesus said the most important thing was to love God with all we’ve got, and also to love ourselves in a healthy way so that we can give that love away to others.” This is a reference to Matthew 22:37-39, which says,
“Jesus replied: ‘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.’”
In sum, society’s definition of self-love is precisely what it sounds like. It is the prioritization of loving oneself in ways that support one’s physical and psychological well-being. In progressive Christian circles, they claim the purpose of self-love is so that one can carry out Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
The self-love movement represents some partial truth but ultimately is a false ideology. Please join me next time to unpack why from a biblical perspective.
This post is part of larger blog series, “Tenets of Progressive Culture.” Read the intro post to learn who this blog series is for and what to expect.