How to Love Yourself as a Christian
As Christians, we sometimes end up showing others love and neglecting ourselves in the name of being selfless. While loving others is what we ought to do, as Jesus commanded, there is a missing link to this command in our minds. Jesus said that we should love others as ourselves – we are to first love ourselves, then love others the same way. “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19). The Bible has many ways to show you how to love yourself as a Christian.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, God has given us a manual for love and it applies to loving ourselves.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The above qualities of love will guide you as you love yourself as a Christian. Take each one and apply it to yourself, for example, do you easily get angry with yourself when you miss a deadline? What can you do instead of getting angry with yourself. This is a simple way to use the Word of God to love yourself more.
Below are 5 ways to start loving yourself.
1) Pray for Yourself
One way to show yourself love as a Christian is to pray for yourself. Prayer is asking God to intervene in your life and bring His will to pass. As a sign of loving yourself, you will seek God to meet the desires of your heart so that you can live a full life. When you regularly pray for yourself, you will avoid pitfalls along the way. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Loving yourself means that you always pray that you will remain in obedience to God’s commands and live according to His plan for your life.
2) Caring for Your Physical and Mental Health
For us to fulfill our divine calling, we must be in good health, spiritually, mentally, and physically. You can care for yourself by caring for your health every day. It is God’s desire that you will enjoy good health and that all may go well with you (John 3:1-2). Your spirit needs nourishment from the Word of God, and that means reading and meditating on your Bible every day. Renew your mind with God’s Word, and read books on the Christian faith. Give your body a balanced diet so that it will have the nutrients it needs to be healthy and strong. By caring for your health, you are loving yourself as a Christian.
3) Not Condemning Yourself When You Sin
Condemning yourself when you sin is acting in an unloving way toward yourself. When you condemn yourself, you will lack the confidence to come before God (1 John 3:21). Jesus never came to condemn the world but that through Him, it might be saved. He doesn’t condemn you, and you should not condemn yourself. Instead, accept God’s forgiveness and allow him to cleanse you from unrighteousness. Condemnation will burden you with guilt and shame, and make you feel unworthy and unlovable. This will compromise your walk of faith and leave you feeling bad about yourself. Accept God’s forgiveness and compassion and know that He still loves you even when you sin.
4) Create Time for Yourself
Sometimes we can be too busy serving the Lord and others that we fail to create time for ourselves. Time alone helps you unwind and rejuvenate so that you take the time to love on yourself. You can show yourself love by having some alone time and enjoying your company. Time away from your busy day will help you take stock of your life and see what is working and what is not. God also takes this time to speak to you, heal you, and renew your strength. According to Isaiah 40:31, your renewed strength will make you soar like an eagle, and run and not grow weary. It is hard to regain your strength when you are busy running around. Do not overwork yourself but take some time off to relax.
5) Be Patient With Yourself
It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you miss the mark in life or make mistakes that are costly. We all desire to always be right or perfect, but it is not possible. Loving yourself means that you have room for error because you are not a perfect human being. Be patient with yourself as you learn and grow, and do not compare yourself with others. You are on a unique journey in life and there will be people in front or behind you. We do not learn at the same pace and neither are we at the same point in life. 1 Corinthians 13:4 tells us that love is patient, and by being patient, you are showing yourself love according to how God intended. When you are patient with yourself, you can be patient with others.
God wants us to love ourselves so that we can thrive and live a life that pleases Him. We were never meant to love others and leave ourselves out of the equation. If we cannot love ourselves, we will have a hard time loving others. We are to love ourselves with the love of God and not that of the world which is conditional. Love is a beautiful gift that we can give ourselves daily and offer it to others like Jesus commanded. Remain in the love of Christ (John 15:9) so that you can love yourself like you ought to as a Christian.