Self love is a hot topic in today’s world. Some view the concept of self love as sinful or selfish. However, as you read through the Bible verses about self love, you will find that it’s more about understanding and believing we are valued and loved by God. Understanding and believing that Truth guides how we behave toward ourselves and others. When we believe we are worthy of love, then we live loved. Our self talk is kinder and gentle. Additionally, we are more motivated to live out God’s best for us and are better at loving others. So let’s dive into some inspirational Bible verses to better understand God’s love for us.
What is worldly self love vs. biblical self love?
Let’s begin with defining the world’s view of self love. If you google the definition of “self love”, the first result comes from Merriam-Webster dictionary:
a: an appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue
b: proper regard for and attention to one’s own happiness or well-being
c: inflated love of or pride in oneself: narcissism, conceit
As I looked through other definitions of self love, the emphasis was on prioritizing one’s own happiness, needs and well-being above others. According to these definitions, self-love is confidence in self that leads to prioritizing your own interests and desires above others. In other words, it’s being a lover of self: it’s demonstrated by selfishness and pride.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
This is different than the biblical view of “self-love”. Self love in the Bible is connected with knowing how valued you are by God because you are made in the image of your Creator. It is simply viewing yourself through the same lens God sees you- God values all of His creation. This is demonstrated through sending His Son to bear the punishment of our sin (John 3:16, 15:3). Knowledge of this is not intended to create inflated or prideful love of self. Rather, it is humbling to know just how loved we are by God. In summary, valuing ourselves is confidence in Christ that leads to humble submission to God. As a result, we prioritize God and others (Matthew 22:37-39).
Is there a Bible Verse about self love?
While there is no Bible verse that specifically uses the phrase, “self love”, the passage of Scripture below gives us some good information about self love.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus tells us the first commandment is to love God wholeheartedly. Whole hearted love is demonstrated through full devotion. Devotion is shown in how we chase after God and actively pursue a relationship with Him and walk in obedience to Him. We believe God’s Word. This means we believe that we are precious in God’s sight. We know that we are made in God’s image and we are God’s people. Knowing we are a new creation, worthy of God’s love and resting in God’s unfailing love is transformative. We see ourselves through God’s eyes and value ourself the way God values us. In other words, you are aligning with God’s Truth about you.
The second command is to love your neighbor as you love yourself, Jesus assumes you do actually love yourself. As we just covered, knowing your value in Christ according to the Scriptures changes you. When we believe the Truth, we are confident in Christ. What we believe matters. Everything we think, feel and do flows from what we believe. With this knowledge and the Holy Spirit, we are able to love our neighbor as we love ourself. In other words, when you trust God’s Word about your value, you love yourself and as a result are able to love others the same way.
Why is self love important?
Self-love is important because it motivates much of our positive behavior while reducing harmful or negative behavior. Self love shapes your thoughts, feelings and actions. How we view ourselves shapes how we engage in relationships, how we treat ourselves and how we engage with God. Loving and valuing yourself is different than selfish ambition. Selfish ambition seeks to serve self, your own interests and operates out of greed and grabbing what you can. It has no concern for the needs of others.
Whereas, knowing how loved you are is operating out of abundance (see bible verses about self love below). Your Heavenly Father’s love is so abundant, you have no need to grab what you can. Rather, His love not only fills you, it flows through you to yourself and others in service. When we don’t understand or believe God’s love for us, we won’t know that we are worthy of love and belonging. As a result, we won’t live out God’s best for our lives. Our confidence is in Christ and we are made complete in Christ.
Best Bible Verses About Self Love
Here are 50 Bible verses about self love that speak to the importance of recognizing our worth in the eyes of God:
1. Romans 12:3 – “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
Prideful self-love leads to selfish ambition and elevation of self. However, humbly knowing your value in Christ moves us toward gratitude.
2. Ephesians 5:29 – “For no one ever hated his own body, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he is telling husbands to love their wives (v28) with the same care they treat themselves. It mirrors the love Christ demonstrates toward the church.
3. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Scripture demonstrates the greatest love story of all time (John 3:16). God gave His Son as a ransom- this speaks of the great value God places on you. Treat yourself accordingly- it brings glory to God!
4. Psalm 139:13-14 – “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
God, the Master of the Universe lovingly knit you together in your mother’s womb. He can only creates masterpieces.
5. 1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
In this verse, Peter specifically names the value God places on His people- chosen, royalty, holy, belonging to Him and brought into the light.
6. Jeremiah 31:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
You are so loved. God’s faithfulness is assurance of that love.
7. 1 John 3:1 – “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
Being part of the family of God is more assurance of your value to the Most High God.
8. Romans 8:38-39 – “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nothing can separate you from God’s love- it’s not based on works. God’s love is unconditional.
9. Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Notice how Paul points to the love of Christ; He knows that Jesus values him and showed that in giving Himself for Paul. Paul knows His value in Christ.
10. Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) 4:7 – “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”
Jesus’ atoned for your sins, washing you white as snow.
11. Isaiah 43:1 – “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'”
You are redeemed and belong to your loving Heavenly Father.
12. 1 John 4:9-10 – “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
God loved us first and sent His Son to save us so we can live and love like Him.
13. Psalm 139:17-18 – “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.”
God thinks about you. You are on His mind, because He loves you.
14. Romans 5:8 – “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God loved you in your darkest hour- proof that His love is not based on your accomplishments or works.
15. Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Love strengthen, helps and upholds. Perfect love drives out fear.
16. Romans 8:31 – “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
You can live loved- God is on your side.
17. Psalm 27:10 – “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.”
God will never abandon you.
18. 1 John 4:19 – “We love because he first loved us.”
God enables us to love others because His unconditional love flows through us.
19. Isaiah 49:15 – “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
God cares about you and will always be faithful to you.
20. Ephesians 2:4-5 – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”
God’s grace through salvation made you alive.
21. Zephaniah 3:17 – “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
God delights over you.
22. Psalm 86:15 – “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
God is overflowing with mercy, grace, patience, love and faithfulness. What love!
23. John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
There is no greater love.
24. Lamentations 3:22-23 – “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
There is no end to God’s love- it is based on Him, not us or what we do.
25. 1 Peter 5:7 – “Casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
God cares for you- tell Him everything!
26. Psalm 103:13 – “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”
Compassion is empathy, sympathy and love in action.
27. Romans 8:37 – “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
We are victorious in Christ.
28. Psalm 86:5 – “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.”
God is good, forgiving and abounding in love. He adores you.
29. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
30. Deuteronomy 7:9 – “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.”
God’s love for you is loyal love.
31. Psalm 100:5 – “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
God’s love endures forever, unchanging and faithful.
32. 1 John 4:16 – “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and anyone who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in them.”
God loves you, abide in Him and He abides in you.
33. Psalm 136:26 – “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Thank God for His steadfast love for you.
34. Ephesians 3:17-19 – “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Paul is praying that the saints would know God’s lavish love for them. This knowledge would change their lives!
35. 2 Corinthians 13:11 – “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Loving well seeks the interests of others and leads to peace.
36. Colossians 3:12 – “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”
Knowing you are a child of God changes how you live toward yourself and others. (This is one of my favorite Bible Verses about self love!)
37. 1 John 4:7 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
Loving others requires receiving God’s love first.
38. 1 Corinthians 16:14 – “Let all that you do be done in love.”
Live out love.
39. Ephesians 4:2 – “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
Love is patient with others.
40. Romans 13:8 – “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
Love each other out of the abundance of love God has for you.
41. Galatians 5:13 – “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Live in freedom and love others out of the abundance.
42. 1 Peter 3:8 – “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
Live united with the children of God.
43. John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”
Children of God love others with the love of Christ.
44. Proverbs 10:12 – “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”
Love is the antonym to hatred.
45. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 – “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”
Choose to repay with good.
46. Colossians 2:2 – “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ.”
47. 1 Peter 1:22 – “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.”
Love one another with intention.
48. 1 Timothy 3:1-4 – But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control,brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!
This Bible verse about self love describes selfish ambition. Biblical self love speaks of knowing how loved you are and living according to that understanding.
49. John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
You are loved- there is nothing to fear!
50. Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good works he planned for us long ago.
God lovingly prepared your purpose in advance.
Wrapping Up: Bible Verses About Self Love
These Bible verses about self love emphasize God’s love for us and encourage us to love ourselves and others in a way that reflects His love. Self-love is important because it motivates much of our positive behavior while reducing harmful or negative behavior. Self love shapes your thoughts, feelings and actions. How we view ourselves shapes how we engage in relationships, how we treat ourselves and how we engage with God.