A Word of Caution
While the need for self-love is implied in such Bible texts as Matthew 19:19 and Ephesians 5:28, 29, the Scriptures far more frequently warn against thinking too much of oneself! Why is this?
Apparently because most of us, in our efforts to gain self-confidence, overshoot the mark. Many become egotistical. Others grossly exaggerate their skills and abilities or are prone to put others down. These are the boasters and braggarts. However, their self-esteem outstrips their true worth.
Even Christians can fall into this trap. Rivalry between Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) afflicted the congregation in first-century Rome. The apostle Paul thus gave straightforward counsel. He reminded the Gentiles of their sordid past. Only by means of God?s "kindness" had they been "grafted" into a position of God?s favor. (Romans 11:17-36; 1:26-32) Self-righteous Jews, too, had to confront their imperfections. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."?Romans 3:23.
Did Paul, however, strip them of self-esteem; reduce them to cowering beggars? Not at all. "For through the undeserved kindness given to me," Paul continued, "I tell everyone . . . not to think more of himself than it is necessary to think." (Romans 12:3) It was "necessary" to have a measure of self-respect. But they had to avoid going overboard.?See Romans 11:20.
A Christian therefore avoids extremes. As Dr. Allan Fromme observes: "A person who has an adequate conception of himself is not sad, but he does not have to be deliriously happy. . . . He is not pessimistic, but his optimism is not unbridled. He is neither foolhardy nor free of specific fears . . . He realizes that he is not the outstanding success of all time, nor is he a perennial failure."
So be modest. "God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones." (James 4:6) Acknowledge your assets, but don?t ignore your faults. Rather, work on them.
You?ll still doubt yourself from time to time. But you need not ever doubt your self-worth or that God cares for you. For "if anyone loves God, this one is known by him."?1 Corinthians 8:3.