The Self-Love Delusion

by Dale Partridge

If you haven’t noticed, self-love is a growing trend in the culture and even in the church. Pastors are preparing sermons titled “How to love yourself more effectively” and “You can’t love others until you love yourself.” Sound theology and doctrine have made themselves quite useful in territories like this.

In other words, when we read our Bible we quickly see that it teaches the opposite narrative—self-sacrifice. In fact, it’s clear that humans don’t need to learn how to love ourselves—that’s natural. What we need to learn is how to love others—that’s supernatural. But the bottom line is this: The cultural idea of self-love is simply a sanitized version of selfishness. And in this episode of Real Christianity, Dale Partridge uncovers this movement for what it truly is.

Additional Resources

Scripture References

  • 1 John 4:8

    “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

  • Galatians 2:20

    “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

  • Luke 14:25-27

    “Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, if anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

  • Matthew 16:24-25

    “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

  • Romans 5:8

    “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

  • Galatians 5:16-21

    “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

  • Mark 10:45

    “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

  • Ephesians 5:28-29

    “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”

  • 2 Timothy 3:1-5

    “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

  • 1 John 3:1

    “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”

After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.

View Comments