body image,  confidence,  inspiration

When Self-Love is Not Enough

Almost every time I browse through Instagram, I see a cute post from an influencer with some catchy self-love motto. Sound familiar? Even I’ve posted them before, so it’s totally relatable.

I’ve actually written a prior post on self-love and how true love must be rooted in Christ for us to gain confidence in who we are.

But what if some of these self-love affirmations and teachings actually aren’t Biblical? While they may sound cute and can encourage us at times when we have low confidence, they are often rooted in pride.

I’m not saying that all girls on social media or blog sites dedicated to self-love are prideful or “bad,” but their posts may be hindering our walk with God.

After all, it’s hard to see our need for Jesus if we are always told that we are good enough on our own.

Below are some of the common phrases that circulate around social media that seem helpful, but may not really hold the answers to our deepest insecurities or needs.

“You’ve got this.”

I hear or see this phrase almost every day. Of course, sometimes it’s appropriate and encouraging to speak this affirmation.

But what about the times when I don’t have it all together? What about the times when I fail or I am not enough? The Gospel plainly tells us that we are in desperate need for a Savior.

Lovely one, you are not enough, but Jesus always is.

When Self-Love is Not Enough

Rest in this truth. The pressure’s off. He is the strength in us to live Godly lives when we have nothing left to give.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)

“Accept your flaws.”

Flaws that we can’t change are ones we should accept–such as physical flaws. I can’t remove the scar on my arm or make my hair thicker, so I might as well learn to love how I look.

But when it comes to character flaws, we should always seek to grow in holiness and strip ourselves of sin, bad habits, and attitudes that drag us (and others) down.

God wants us to submit these flaws to Him and allow the blood of Jesus to sanctify us.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV)

“Let go of what doesn’t serve you.”

I believe this kind of quote originally meant for us to let go of toxic or abusive relationships–which is healthy.

However, I see this phrase used for everything, and it reminds me of how selfish we have become.

As a Christian, we are not meant to be served. Some of the things God asks us to do are challenging, but we are called to lay down our lives so that the Gospel can shine through us.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)

The Truth: Christ is Enough

There are times when we are supposed to affirm and encourage ourselves, but that must always be rooted in Christ. When Jesus is magnified in our lives, we find true purpose.

All of the self-searching and empowerment we long for will fail us in the end because we are not perfect. We don’t need humanistic philosophy to determine our worth when Christ already did that for us by dying on the cross.

We don’t need more self-empowerment, we need God empowerment.

When Self-Love is Not Enough

When we establish ourselves in the never-failing love of Jesus, we will finally be rooted in our true identity.

What are your thoughts on the topic of self-love? Have you found it helpful in your faith walk, or does it contradict the Gospel? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading. 🙂

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  • arricahess

    I love this post so much. We aren’t enough but Jesus is!!! I have one started very similar on the love of self that it seems the world promotes so often. Keep speaking truth and sharing God’s word!!

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you Arrica! It was difficult to start this post as I knew this philosophy is so engrained for modern women that I may receive some backlash. But the truth of the Gospel must be shared. What a relief to know that it’s not all on us and that Jesus is our righteousness! Looking forward to reading your future post.

  • John and Jenny Fulton

    I enjoyed how you provided scripture as a more well-rounded way to consider some of the common self-care phrases that get tossed around. I wonder what it would be like if we added Christ to those phrases as a way to redirect them. “Christ is with you and will help you through it.” “God doesn’t expect you to be perfect now. He’ll help you work on those areas when the time is right.” “Let go of what doesn’t serve God’s purpose for you and those around you.” Lately, I’ve been thinking about how essential it is for us to be in community. We can’t do it on our own and even with Christ, we often need others to be His hands and feet for us. Thanks for these words of encouragement.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Wow, I love the way you rephrased those sentences!!!! When you live from a Christ centered heart, then self love turns to God love. I’m so glad you are encouraged. We truly do need that in the body of Christ.

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