There is a question that has been asked of us that is somewhat surprising. The question is, “Can you love yourself too much?”
We would have to say in the midst of our counseling sessions, it has never even occurred to us that it would be a counseling issue we would need to address. We have read personal commentaries and heard people address their opposition to the teaching of loving yourself. They may argue, “We already do that too much—that this is a problem with what has happened to our world.”
When an individual is being judged for loving himself too much, what would you see? Some may say he is more arrogant (conceited, big-headed, egotistical, proud, over-confident); self-centered (self-seeking, self-absorbed, selfish); puffed-up (superior, pompous); controlling; always thinking he is right. He looks down on others because he thinks so highly of himself.
On the other hand, another individual may be seen as more needy for affection, attention, and emotional support—more self-absorbed. He wants people to take care of him and wait on him. This person may also be judged for loving himself too much, because of his self-centeredness— “It’s always about him.”
If you look closely as the characteristics we mentioned above for someone who loves themselves too much, from the one side of being puffed-up or the flip side of being more needy, you will notice some of the following characteristics missing. This is how God describes what love looks like (1 Cor. 13):
Love is patient and tolerant.
Love is kind and compassionate.
Love is not envious or resentful.
Love is not boastful or arrogant.
Love is not proud.
Love is not dishonoring of others.
Love is not self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered or “touchy.”
Love is not keeping record of wrongs.
Love is rejoicing with the truth.
Love is not taking pleasure in others failures or troubles.
Love is always protecting and defending.
Love is always trusting and believing.
Love is always hoping and hopeful.
Love is always unrelenting and persevering.
And if God says this is what love is, I wouldn’t mind living in a world that loves too much. With his definition of love, there could only be one person who could ever have the capacity and perfection to love too much—God himself. And when he describes himself, he just says, “I am Love.” And that is more than enough.
God has a plan for those who are self-centered, prideful, arrogant, self-absorbed. It is called healing. It is a wound. A wound caused by a lack of love, affection, affirmation, belonging, safety, encouragement and guidance when the child was growing up.
So can you love yourself too much? Not in this lifetime—but, maybe in the next? We’ll see.
To read more about the nature of God and how He works to bring healing and restoration to us, check out our book: The Missing Commandment: Love Yourself — How Loving Yourself the Way God Does Can Bring Healing and Freedom to Your Life. It is available at Amazon.com or jerryanddenisebasel.com.
NOTE: If you or someone you know is in need of finding a safe place for emotional and/or spiritual healing and restoration, please contact us at The Father’s Heart Ministry through our web site at www.fathersheart.com or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We are located in the North Georgia Mountains in a retreat-oriented environment and have established opportunities for ministry to individuals or couples for time periods as little as a few hours to as long as five days.