In an effort to self-improve, some have turned up the dial on self-love. In desperation to understand the pain of self-destructive behavior many have discovered a seemingly, intuitive cure: self-love.
They incorrectly diagnose the problem. They conclude that they have done self-destructive behaviors because they do not love themselves sufficiently. So what they feel they lack they endeavor to add.
In some cases when one is in pain because of misguided, destructive behavior, a clear connection is not made between behavior and it painful resultant. Not wanting to change their behavior, they incorrectly conclude that they haven’t loved themselves enough. So in order to recover they feel they need to repent and begin the process of restoring their life through self-admiration.
The truth is that self-love is the problem. Shame and guilt are the natural result of destructive behaviors. This is how it works.
When one is despicable, performing destructive acts there is a corresponding shame and guilt. This is as natural as heat from the sun or pain from a fall.
Drugs, alcohol, sex outside of wedlock, divorce and a list that seemingly has no end, naturally produce pain in its many forms. The pain of self-abuse is the wake left by the hull of the violation of God’s law. When we sin against God there is pain, shame, and guilt. It is la natural law, like gravity.
Many are surprised at this and think they have some sort of mental disorder: Self Hatred. No, this is what happens, like the pain of missing the nail and hitting the thumb. They have trouble being with people and are often repulsed by their own reflection. As a result they see their failure, their self-worth is low and they feel they have not the ability to thrive like other people. What they miss, is that those seen as healthy, are living properly under the construct of God’s laws to a greater degree. Many outside religion still follow this construct to varying degrees and are relatively sheltered.
To remedy their malaise they try to love themselves more. It is like cutting your nose off to improve your looks.
Self-love is the problem. For those in the state of self-loathing, it is hard to understand because this cycle causes psychological chaos.
Selfishness is self-love. It is giving yourself what you want, when you want it, how you want it and as much as you want it. Self-love doesn’t take others into consideration. Self-love in its extreme brings self-destruction and ruin to those in its grasp. Drugs, alcohol, overspending, gambling, not taking care of responsibilities, lack of hard work and neglect of friends and family create a frayed and filthed garment of a life.
Those who practice a self-amorous lifestyle are led by this delusion; that if they get what they want they’ll be happy. In their mind it an ironic unnatural twist that life doesn’t work this way. Everything goes wrong and they don’t know why; they are mystified. They simply do not understand the nature of the cause and effect of living. The fact is that “less is more” and living with sacrificial care for others brings life.
You can try to cheat this “natural law of life” but not without degrees of destruction. Over time it will added up to bring such distress that one becomes mentally disoriented. Since there is no behavioral change, only pills prescribed by a doctor will bring peace. I call this “Jesus in a bottle!”
Since self-love is the problem, how will loving yourself more heal you? It is like throwing gas on a burning house to put out the fire.
Unrighteousness mixed with prescriptions, guilt and shame bring grave consequences and can never be corrected by self-love, self-forgiveness, and fighting against God’s law.
It is simple to get out of this. Resolve to do what is right, make amends with those you have hurt and in time, after many acts of righteousness, self-esteem will naturally come back. With a life of service in obedience to Christ, a forgiveness from God removes shame and guilt. Self-hatred, shame and guilt will be supplanted by hope, joy and love.