Happy woman, confident of herself, behind a desk studying the Bible


Is it okay to love yourself? Within the Christian community, there are different views on this important topic, and that’s alright. What’s important is to find out what God says about self-love. And exactly that is what we’re going to do here—a loving yourself Bible study. So we can understand the way God sees it.

We will explore the best Bible verses that shed light on the concept of loving yourself. We will seek to understand the biblical view of self-love and why having a balanced sense of self-worth is so important. By delving into the truth of God’s Word, we will discover valuable insights and wisdom that can guide us in our journey toward self-acceptance and true self-love—a healthy love of yourself.

Whether you have struggled with self-esteem issues or simply want to deepen your understanding of self-love through God’s eyes, this study is for you. Discover what God says about loving yourself and how it can positively impact our relationship with Him and in loving others.

This Bible study will encourage us to embrace our uniqueness and value as people created in the image of God. We will look at the modern-day idea of self-love and learn to understand the biblical way of loving yourself. We’ll also look at what does the Bible say about loving yourself?

So grab your Bible, a journal, and an open heart as we embark on this loving yourself Bible study. Allow God to speak and transform your understanding of self-love according to His perfect will. We will end this blog with prayers to love yourself.

What does loving yourself mean in the Bible?

What does the Bible say about self love? These days, in the world, there is much focus on loving yourself. We are living amid a self-love movement. From a humanitarian point of view, it is seen as one of the best things to do. New age is also full of it. And let’s not forget all the selfies and the sharing of one’s personal life on social media.

Before we study what loving yourself means in the Bible, let’s define self-love. Loving yourself is not the same as narcissism. Narcissism is self-centered love. It is when someone’s self-love ignores everyone else’s needs, becoming super obsessed with themselves and everything they do, or behaving like they’re the queen of the world. Interestingly, narcissism is associated with poor mental and emotional health (and even low self-esteem!).

We can define loving yourself more healthily as having a good understanding of both your strengths and weaknesses. According to psychology, high self-love can have a positive effect on your well-being, mental fitness, and relationships. Psychologists stress the importance of self-love. Love of self is about having a positive relationship with yourself in which you take care of yourself, support yourself, and believe in yourself.

When you believe in yourself and your abilities, you become more resilient and motivated to pursue your dreams. When you have a healthy self-love, you stop the negative thoughts and negative self-talk and start cheering yourself on.

The idea of self-love isn’t new. Self-love has been around since ancient Greek philosophy around 350 BC. We find it in the Greek word Philautos, which has two parts: “philos” meaning “loving” or “dear”, and “autos” meaning “self”. Together, it can be translated to mean “loving oneself” or “self-love”. Back in the day, Greek philosophers loved talking about this idea and how it’s important to find a balance, take care of yourself, and not be too self-centered.

However, as children of God, we’d like to know what God says about it in His Word. Is it okay to love yourself and be confident? What does the Bible say about self love? What does loving yourself mean in the Bible?

Where is love yourself in the Bible?

Does the bible say to love yourself? Literally, the phrase “love yourself” doesn’t appear in most translations of the Bible. Even in the original Greek version, you won’t find the term.

However, several Bible passages imply the idea of loving and taking care of yourself. The scriptures are also clear about what is not the God kind of love for yourself.

The best way to approach this is by starting with the Bible verses that remind us of God’s way. Those are the scriptures that warn us against the dangers of self love, having a proud heart, and self-centeredness. We need to have these biblical instructions as a basis before we look at loving ourselves in God’s way.

8 Scriptures that warn against excessive self-love:

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:16 (ESV)

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3:1-4 (ESV)

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 (NIV)

“Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” 1 Corinthians 10:24 (ESV)

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3 (ESV)

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 (ESV)

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood.” Proverbs 6:16-17 (NIV)

Some people interpret the passage in Philippians as love others more than yourself Bible verse. But that isn’t what the scripture implies. It simply states we shouldn’t value ourselves more than others. It doesn’t exclude loving ourselves, and it doesn’t include we should love others more than ourselves.

Now, let’s look at 9 Bible verses that encourage a healthy love of yourself. We’ll explore those scriptures and their meaning, so we get a better understanding of love yourself in the Bible.

For example, Matthew 22:39 implies that you must have a healthy level of self-love to properly love others. You need to love yourself so you can love others. Let’s have a look at the Bible verse about loving yourself before you can love others.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 (NIV)

A Bible study of Ephesians and 1 Corinthians shows another aspect of loving yourself. Those books discuss the importance of caring for your own body, which is a form of self-love.

“After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.” Ephesians 5:29 (NIV)

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

Our loving yourself Bible study continues with the aspect of God’s love itself. It is because of the love of God that we can love—love one another and love ourselves. God loves us. Shouldn’t we love ourselves? And love comes from God… it is okay to love ourselves with God’s love.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 (NIV)

If we don’t love ourselves, we don’t remain in God’s love.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9 (NIV)

We can also find this in the love yourself as god loves you verse in 1 John. Bible verses about self love remind us we should love ourselves because God loves us. God’s love for you is a powerful way to approach your quest to better love God—and yourself.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Our Lord Jesus Christ loves us and gave His life for us. Don’t you think we are worthy of love? In the eyes of God, we are lovable. The love of Christ for us alone is enough reason to love ourselves. The only way to truly love yourself is by first accepting God loves you.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (ESV)

Most of the scriptures discussed so far are from the New Testament. The Old Testament is also full of God’s love for us and Bible verses that imply it’s okay to love ourselves. It is as much a covenant of love as the New Testament is.

In the book of Jeremiah, for example, we can find the type of love God loves us with—true love, unfailing love. Because of this great love God has for us, we can also love ourselves.

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’” Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

Another example is in the Psalms written by King David. Maybe the most famous one about loving yourself is Psalm 139. He confirms we are a marvelous work, created by God, our Heavenly Father. Even our own soul knows how awesome we are.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

All these Bible passages show that you should value and care for yourself in a way that’s in line with God’s teachings, even if they don’t specifically say “love yourself.”

Based on these loving self Bible verses, we can conclude that our loving yourself Bible study confirms it is okay to love yourself, provided it isn’t egocentric self-love and doesn’t exclude loving others.

Do you want to do more loving yourself Bible study? There are also several short Bible verses about self love. Or read a book about loving yourself the way God does.

Now, what does the Bible say about loving yourself first?

What did Jesus mean by “love yourself”?

There are passages in most of the Gospels that refer to the concept of loving yourself. Loving ourselves is, however, not our primary object of being loving. First things to do is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind.

We should always keep in mind to love God first. When we do so, we will keep our self-love aligned with God’s way of loving. It will help us not to become puffed up, proud, or selfish. We can find this concept in both The Old and the New Testament.

Lord Jesus also mentions it when He taught about loving yourself. One place we see this is in the gospel of Matthew. In a Bible passage, He mentions that as being the first and most important thing to do, when He also refers to the second greatest commandment.

“’Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ 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.’” Matthew 22:36-39 (NIV)

What God’s son Jesus means here is we can’t love others if we don’t truly love ourselves. And we can only love ourselves when we love God first. Jesus highlights the importance of loving God wholeheartedly as the foundation for loving ourselves and others. When we prioritize our love for God, it aligns our self-love with His teachings and prevents us from becoming self-centered or selfish.

By loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we acknowledge His supreme authority and allow His love to fill us. Only then can we truly love ourselves and extend that love to our neighbors. Jesus equates loving others with loving ourselves, highlighting the interconnectedness of these two commandments.

Jesus is teaching us that self-love is not about self-indulgence or self-centeredness, but about recognizing our inherent worth as children of God. It is about embracing and appreciating the unique individuals He has created us to be. When we love ourselves through the lens of God’s love, we are better equipped to love and serve others selflessly.

So, when Jesus speaks of loving yourself, He means the need to love yourself in a way that aligns with God’s love and purpose for your life. It is about recognizing and valuing your identity as a beloved child of God, which enables you to love others in the same way.

What is the biblical way to love yourself?

Is self love a sin? This is a question asked by many.

So far, in our loving yourself Bible study, we’ve seen that the basis for loving yourself is loving God first and accepting God’s awesome, never-ending love for us. And that loving ourselves should be a basis for loving others. We’ve also learned excess self-love isn’t what God wants, as that is egocentric love, harming others.

So, how do we love ourselves? What is the biblical way to love yourself?

While the Bible doesn’t explicitly use the phrase “love yourself”, there are verses that encourage self-care and healthy self-esteem. Studying those scriptures and applying them in your life can help you overcome a lack of self-love.

The basis for loving yourself in God’s way is to understand God’s love for you and that you are created in God’s own image. As a child of God, you have inherent value just because you are made in God’s image. So, it is okay to love yourself. God created you!!!

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

As believers, we are God’s masterpiece, created with good purpose and worthy of love.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit lives in us, which (to me) also shows we are worthy. The verse in 1 Corinthians emphasizes the importance of caring for our bodies, as it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Just because of that, we need to love our own skin and our own bodies.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

We are also encouraged to have a positive self-image based on our new identity in Christ, rather than conforming to worldly standards. We can love ourselves because of the new creature we have become in Christ Jesus. To be able to love yourself, you need to renew your mind. It is only then you will understand God’s perfect will for you.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

It is now that we can apply the motto of: love god love yourself love others.

Prayers to love yourself

If you find it difficult to love yourself, perhaps because of things that happened in the past or things people have said to and about you, you can add prayers to love yourself to your loving yourself Bible study. Through prayer, you connect with God and His love for you.

Also, talk about it with a trusted family member and perhaps even pray together.

Here are 3 example prayers to love yourself.

Heavenly Father, I know You created me, but I find it difficult to love myself. Can you please help me see myself through Your loving eyes? Help me see how marvelously You created me. I want to forget all the negative things people have said to me and embrace Your love for me instead. As there is no greater love than Your love for me. I know it in my mind, but I also want to accept it in my heart and soul. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Dear Lord, I love You. You are all I have. Help me love myself as You do. Help me truly embrace I am a new creation in You and that I am worthy to be loved, by myself and by others. I find it difficult to accept love. Please soften my heart and pour Your love into my heart. Holy Spirit, channel my heart in the right direction to love myself. And once I do, help me not to place my own happiness before that of others. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Father God, please help me see myself through Your eyes—Your eyes of love. I don’t like myself and sometimes I even hate myself. Help me change this. I am just a human being; I am limited in what I can do. But You can do all things. You can change my heart. God teach me how to love myself. Help me love myself so I can love others with the love You gave me first. Thank You. Amen.

Praying, Christian meditation, and reading Bible verses around loving ourselves can help us understand why God loves us.

Take-away loving yourself Bible study

We can conclude our loving yourself Bible study with a few key take-aways.

Is self love a sin? No. provided we don’t love ourselves more than we love God or others.

Can you love others without loving yourself? No. The Bible says we need to love others as we love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t love others. And God wants us to love others.

How can God love me when I hate myself? God loves us, no matter how we think about ourselves. God loves us, even when we do wrong things. However, He wants us to live according to His will. And that is to follow Him, obey Him, love Him, and love ourselves. If we find it difficult to love ourselves, we can study God’s Word about God’s love for us and how to love ourselves. We can read Bible verses about loving your body and Bible verses about caring for yourself. On top of that, we can add prayers to love yourself.

Is self love biblical? Yes, it is. God’s Word has various scriptures and much guidance on loving yourself His way.

I pray you have been blessed with this loving yourself Bible study and have gained insights into God’s love for you and how to love yourself. I pray you may experience God’s love for you each day of your life and that you may love yourself and others the way God wants you to.