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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Self-Love vs Christmas Love

“For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money ... unloving ... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness ...” 2 Timothy 3:2-5 (NASB)

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“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son ...” John 3:16 (NASB)

Several years ago, books were written on the subject of learning to love yourself, which 2 Timothy 3 prophesizes as part of the end times. This theme gave birth to numerous classes, conferences, and a general acceptance among psychotherapists. Today, this position is accepted by many as an axiom; i.e.: emotional problems are to be treated by helping a patient learn to love and accept themselves as this will unlock many locked doors that contain trauma, insecurity, abuse etc. Although this approach has insight, it is incomplete.

During the days this self-love position gained such widespread acceptance, I can’t remember once reading or hearing that loving yourself can be related to a person becoming unloving. I found that if a person primarily stresses loving themselves, they can easily lose the needed focus upon the needs of others.

Me First

From this “me first” approach came many self-centered thoughts and behaviors, such as parents feeling they needed better partners to feel good and to learn how to love themselves. They felt that what was good for them must be good for the children (in spite of the trauma the children went through) as they threatened and often destroyed what the children had been trusting in: their family’s security. They destroyed the foundation of much of a child’s emotional security and hope for the future. And, the divorce rate skyrocketed. Often, the children spent years recovering from the domestic trauma. This unbalanced [me first] scenario, still commonly practiced by mothers and fathers, is a deception. It is a “scheme of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11); which “the father of lies” (John 8:44) invented.

The Contrast of Christmas Love

God’s children are to love Him with all their heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). This powerful, self-sacrificing love is to be the foundation from which all Christian love grows. The reason for Christmas stems from mankind’s separation from God, separated by nature and sins. This is why John 3:16 is the essential Christmas verse: it reflects the answer to man’s being (by nature) children of wrath and spiritual zombies (or, “dead in trespasses and sins” Ephesians 2:1-4). Christmas is the ultimate display of Almighty God’s self-sacrificing love. It is selfless, caring love at its core.

The Religion of Self-Love Lovers

Another startling fact given in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 is that those who incorrectly love by primarily loving themselves actually have a religion (“holding to a form of godliness” v.5) (Greek - “holding to a religion”). The most common name given to this religion is Secular Humanism, which may be the religion with the most members.

What is Secular Humanism? Webster’s New World Dictionary defines secular as “worldly, not connected with a church.”Humanism is defined as “any system of thought based on the interests and ideals of humanity.”Secular Humanism is a system of thought (a philosophy based on the ideas of humanity rather than the manual for life — the Bible), that has permeated all aspects of society, even the church. It is identified when ideas are held that contradict what the Spirit of God states in the Word of God — the Bible. Mankind’s thoughts, inventions etc. are not bad in themselves. Neither is humanism, actually, unless it is accepted by faith as providing the answers to subjects such as morality and what lies after death. In that case, it becomes a religion.

Watch TV and learn what is emphasized by this world-system(food, sex, wealth, greed, ownership, etc.). (1 John 2:16) Without Jesus and God’s inspired instructions and insights, mankind is left solely with man’s interpretations and the lusts of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16-21)

Lovers of this world’s system are lovers who do not love. They are primarily self-centered, even in the love they give. This does not surprise experienced adults and it certainly does not surprise Almighty God. They do not live in Christmas love.

Be a Channel of Christmas Love

Determine to love with Jesus’ selfless love flowing through you by the power of the Holy Spirit. By the Lord’s help, you will be a channel of warm Christmas love day-by-day, all of the year through.

Copyright © 2016 Dr. Bob Segress. Used by permission.

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