Jesus never said love yourself, but did say NOT to

The Great Commandment of Jesus
Christians regard Jesus as the only truly good man and also as the infallible God in human form.
Jesus, when he was asked what the greatest commandment of morality was, replied as follows.
“The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31, King James Bible). It is not, "Love yourself and love your neighbour as yourself."
The two commandments seem to contradict one another. You are told to love God alone and then to love your neighbour. But the solution is that love is not meant in the same sense. Loving God means valuing God. Loving your neighbour means obeying God in relation to what he says concerning how he or she should be treated. In other words, you are using your neighbour to serve God.
The Bible never says that I must love myself in the sense that it clearly approves of this love. We always love ourselves in some way though it is distorted in the case of the person with low self-esteem. Jesus may have the thought in mind: “It is not a sin to love yourself because you cannot help it. But if the nearest you can get to getting rid of this love is by distorting it then do so. If you see asceticism and anorexia as a way of respecting yourself, do it.”
How could God command you to love yourself? It would be like commanding you to breathe. It would show a sadistic streak in him if he commanded that. A command by definition is about force, "Do this or else!"
Break up the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself. Have it as, "Love your neighbour." "Love as yourself." This does not indicate any approval at all for loving yourself. It only comments that you love yourself and so go and love your neighbour as much. It is worried about the neighbour not you.
Are you loving your neighbour as yourself when you tell your friend to go to the doctor for your sake if he won’t go for his own? No you are asking him to love you more than him so you are not. Are you loving your neighbour as yourself when you and your wife agree to compromise for she believes in hitting the children and you think it is wrong? You are weakening your principles. You are allowing what you think is wrong and encouraging her to do what you think she is degrading herself by doing. It will be said that you have to do it but compromise is always surrendering your principles and what you think is right and at least partly encouraging what you think is evil.
Jesus' teaching that you must love your neighbour as yourself really means love your neighbour as if he were yourself but not yourself.
Love yourself is not to be found in the chief commandments, the famous ten. Jesus stated those commandments were a summary of the rest. Clearly self-love is unimportant and even bad in the authentic Christian view. Always treat others as you would like them to treat you is about how you treat others and not yourself. It reinforces what we are saying.


Jesus saying you shall love your neighbour as yourself assumes you love yourself anyway.  It is not commanding you or advising you to love yourself.  In the John gospel Jesus says you must love others the way he has loved you.  No mention of self-love here and it is to be a response to Jesus' love for you not your love for yourself.
People should not follow a man who did not help them in their self-love but who frowned on it. They should walk away from the King of the Slaves.

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