In 2 Timothy 3:2 we find a passage that talks about evil men in the end times. It says, "For men shall be lovers of their own selves . . ." Think about the idea of these people loving themselves. They don’t care about others, about God, about anything other than what pleases them. Is this love?
If we read the book of Ecclesiastes, we will find a common theme: "All is vanity." Solomon loved God for a while, but later in life he sought pleasure other things. In the end, he found pleasure in nothing. I think he sums it up best when he says in Ecclesiastes 2:17, "I hated life."
Clearly, it is not in a person’s best interest to try to please himself with the things of the world. So those men in 2 Timothy don’t really know what love is. The word for ‘love’ used in 2 Timothy is the word that means ‘feeling.’ They like to make themselves feel good. Making oneself feel good temporarily, does not work in someone’s best interest and is not love.
Let me give you an illustration of true love for oneself. In Ephesians 5, Paul is encouraging husbands to love their wives properly. He says in verse 28, "He that loveth his wife loveth himself." The word for love here, means a love that is real. A love that motivates someone to action. Think about the idea presented in the verse: the man who loves his wife, is really loving himself. Why would that be? I would submit to you that it is in the man’s best interest to act out of love for his wife. So when he treats her right, he is doing himself a favor.
Let’s take that principle and apply it to the 2 Timothy verse. These men love themselves, with a feeling kind of love. If you look in the Bible, you will not find someone who lived a life for earthly pleasure, and enjoyed long-lasting benefits. It just doesn’t happen. What we do find, is that when a person submits to God and serves Him, they are blessed. They achieve true joy. True peace. And true benefits.
I would like to share with you. You are only truly loving yourself when you are completely surrendered to God. When you give up all your worldly pleasures and seek God alone. We will find true joy and satisfaction in our Creator. So let us serve Him. Not because we will truly love ourselves, but because He is worthy. Because He is our Creator. We were created to fulfill our purpose of pleasing Him. So let us please Him. In doing so, we are acting in our best interest, and truly loving ourselves.
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." – Revelation 4:11
Are you truly loving yourself?