Self-love, or the practice of valuing oneself, is often seen as a modern concept. However, the concept of self-love is not a new one and can be found in the Bible. However, it is not an exact verse in the Bible that mentions self-love explicitly as a standalone term.
We can interpret several verses as promoting self-love.
Self-love is a concept that is often talked about in modern times as a way to promote mental health and well-being. Can we find that same thought in the Bible?
In this article, we will explore the best verses about self-love, what self-love means in the Bible, and how we can apply it to our lives.
What does God say about self-love?
The concept of self-love in the Bible is not the same as the self-centered, egotistical behavior that we often associate with the term today. In fact, the Bible often warns against pride and self-centeredness.
Instead, self-love in the Bible is a healthy and balanced appreciation for oneself as a creation of God, and a recognition of the worth and value that comes from being made in His image.
We can find many scriptures around the theme of love. God’s love for us, our love for God. Our love for others, and our love for ourselves.
Bible verse, don’t love yourself more than others
Self-love in the Bible is not a proud love. It is closely tied to humility.
In Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT), Paul writes,
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
This verse reminds us that while we should appreciate and love ourselves, we should also value others above ourselves and prioritize their needs.
Bible verse, love your neighbor as yourself
One of the most important teachings in the Bible related to self-love is the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.
In Mark 12:31 (NLT), Jesus says,
“‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
This commandment suggests we should love ourselves as much as we love our neighbors, and that we should not treat ourselves any less kindly or respectfully than we treat others. This short Bible verse about self-love teaches we are to love our neighbors as ourselves—but it is difficult to love others if we do not love ourselves first.
Bible verse about loving yourself so you can love others
In Matthew 22:39, Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This means that we should love ourselves in the same way that we love our neighbors. It is only when we have a healthy appreciation and love for ourselves that we can love others in the same way.
This verse suggests that self-love is important because it is a prerequisite for loving others. If we do not love ourselves, we cannot love others fully or authentically.
What does the Bible say about self-care?
An important aspect of self-love in the Bible is the idea of self-care. There are various verses that emphasize the importance of taking care of oneself. The Bible promotes self-care—which is a form of self-love—as long as we do it in a healthy way.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says,
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
This verse suggests that we should seek rest and relief from our burdens, which is an act of self-care.
Self-care for our bodies
The Holy Spirit lives in our body, not outside our body. Our bodies are important to God and we should take care of them—which is an act of self-love.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
This verse about self-love reminds us we are not our own, but we belong to God. As such, we should take care of our bodies and honor God with them. This includes getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and taking care of our mental health.
Self-love in Psalm 139
One of the best examples of self-love in the Bible is in Psalm 139. This psalm is a beautiful reflection of the nature of God and how He made each of us unique.
In verse 14 (NKJV), the psalmist says,
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”
This Bible verse reminds us we are all unique creations of God and that we should appreciate and love ourselves for who we are. It is a perfect verse about loving yourself and having self-worth.
The verse encourages us to live a life of self acceptance. Accepting yourself can only happen when you love yourself first. God loves you. Why should you not love yourself?
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Bible verse about standing up for yourself
Self-love in the Bible also includes the importance of setting boundaries. Setting boundaries is an expression of loving yourself and being confident.
In Matthew 5:37, Jesus says
“Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t’.” Matthew 5:37 (NLT)
This short Bible verse reminds us it is okay to say no and to set boundaries for ourselves. Setting boundaries can help us prioritize our mental and emotional health and ensure that we are not spreading ourselves too thin. It is a form of self-love.
Forgiveness as an act of self-love
Self-love is also emphasized in the idea of forgiveness. In Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT), Jesus says,
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
This verse suggests that we need to forgive others in order to receive forgiveness from God. Forgiving others because of receiving forgiveness from God is an act of self-love.
The Bible also teaches us to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes. Romans 8 verse 1 (NLT), says,
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
This verse reminds us we are forgiven through Christ, and we should not hold on to guilt and shame for past mistakes. Instead, we should focus on moving forward and growing in our relationship with God.
Bible verse, focus on the present
Another important teaching related to self-love is the idea of living in the present moment.
In Matthew 6:34, Jesus says,
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
This verse suggests that we should focus on the present moment and not worry about the future, which is an act of self-love because it allows us to be fully present and mindful.
Doing what you love is a perfect way of focusing on the present as an act of self-love. This is a gift of God. Find what you love to do and do it.
“So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.”Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (NLT)
While the Bible does not mention the concept of self-love explicitly as a standalone term, we can interpret several verses and teachings as promoting self-love.
The Bible emphasizes the importance of loving oneself, taking care of oneself, forgiving oneself, and living in the present moment. These teachings can serve as a guide for those who seek to promote self-love to improve their mental health and well-being.
“No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”Ephesians 5:29 (NLT)
Father, help me love myself, even if I make mistakes. You created me and I am lovable and good enough. I deserve to be loved. Thank You for the Bible, which teaches me that self-love is not wrong. I choose to love myself and stay humble at the same time.
Help me love others as I love myself. And give me the strength and willpower to set boundaries so I don’t love others more than myself.
You love me, and I am grateful for that. Let me reflect that same love to myself and the people around me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.