“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mt 22:39 NIV
God loves you so much that He gave His only Son to save you. “Save me from what?” you ask: (1) Going through this life lost, directionless, joyless, and unfulfilled. (2) Spending the next life lost and without the joys of heaven He wants you to share. That’s how highly God values you. So when you keep putting yourself down, you’re rejecting His opinion of you. And to disagree with God is to make yourself equal with Him, or worse, put your opinion above His. Maybe you never thought about it like that before. Actress/singer Ethel Waters ministered to great crowds in the Billy Graham crusades. She was born black and poor in a segregated society, but when she found Christ she gained true self-esteem. With a smile that would melt your heart, she told her audiences, “God made me—and my God don’t make no junk!” When you refuse to love yourself, it’s impossible to love others or accept that they love you. You become skilled at tuning out compliments and picking up on criticism, because it confirms the negative opinion you have of yourself. As a result, you distance yourself from people and end up lonely without ever knowing why. Maybe your parents failed you, or your spouse betrayed you. You may feel like “damaged goods,” and seek escape in addictions, or affairs, or a lifestyle of ritual accomplishment. But it doesn’t work. Only when you accept that God loves you unconditionally, and decide to love yourself, will you have love to give to others.