A superficial look at the idea of loving oneself gives the impression of self-centredness or some humanistic teaching that is contrary to the bible. Is it really so?
A careful look at the bible, however, reveals that we were all created in the image of God for the purpose of loving and worshipping Him (Genesis1:27). We are not worthless creatures to wallow in self-pity. When we recognise this fact we start being thankful and appreciating the person who God made in us. It is not being egocentric or highminded.
A misunderstanding of loving oneself is likely to result into self rejection. This will manifest itself through unhappiness with the person God made us to be. Whenever we are unhappy from within, we can hardly be gentle or even kind when dealing with others. Our relationship with them will most likely be distorted and so we will have no basis for loving them.
Unforgiveness too will be evident in our lives when we fail to understand the need to love ourselves. We will hold on to embarrassing things that we have repented of, contrary to the biblical advice to pursue peace with everyone around us and refuse to give in to bitterness that is likely to spoil our relationships ( Hebrews 12:15). The bible does teach total depravity of mankind before God but this doesn’t mean we should consider ourselves failures. If we do then we will continue pushing to reach irrational goals in order to feel good about ourselves.
We should recognise that in spite our fallen state we are still fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and learn from King David to appreciate and thank God for what He gave us – the ability to worship Him.