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Anonymous Andrew wrote:

Hi, guys —

Hello and thank-you for having answered my previous questions. Thank-you also for such a wonderfully helpful site. I have another question for you.

  • Can you tell me whether it's actually okay to love oneself?

I mean in a good, self-esteem kind of way — not in an arrogant, narcissistic, or idolizing sort of way.

I was observing a debate where one side said that it actually isn't okay to love yourself in any way at all but the other side of the argument told the completely opposite view.

One side says that we aren't supposed love ourselves because it unintentionally puts ourselves first which results in us putting God second, at best. His defense was that this loving oneself as being okay was probably a lie created by satan to make us less likely to try to please God because we'd end up being too busy trying to please ourselves instead.

The other side of the argument is insisting that we should love ourselves as God loves us and to not love ourselves is essentially calling God wrong for His thinking that we are worthy to be loved. That same side also said:

  • How can we possibly love others as God commands if we do not love ourselves?

    It isn't possible to love anyone else if we don't first love ourself.

Both sides of the argument were using the commandment of love thy neighbor as thyself as their basis.

I tried to search your database about self love, but only found questions and answers related to Purgatory.

If there is already an answer for this sort of question, please accept my apologies.

Thank you kindly always.

Andrew

  { Can you chime in on this debate over whether it is actually okay to love oneself? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

We must love ourselves as God loves us, and our neighbors likewise. We must hate that part of our ourselves that tends to marginalize God, put Him second, and treat our neighbors poorly.

There is no contradiction between these states of loving and hating. Everything else is just splitting hairs.

Peace,

Bob

Andrew replied:

Bob,

Thank you for clarifying this issue.

God bless!

Andrew

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