One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life (Psalm 27:4)                 Bayith Ministries

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Christian Beliefs, Teachings, Doctrines, Christian Living, Christian Ethics

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them ...
is like a [wise] man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundations on a rock:
and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it:
for it was founded upon a rock
(Luke 6:47-48)

Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
For other foundation can no man lay that is laid, which is Jesus Christ
(1 Corinthians 3:10b-11)

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

Self and Selfism
Self-Absorption, Self-Acceptance, Self-Actualisation, Self-Assertion, Self-Centredness,
Self-Confidence, Self-Denigration, Self-Esteem, Self-Focus, Self-Forgiveness, Self-Fulfilment, Self-Hate,
Self-Improvement, Self-Indulgence, Self-Interest, Self-Justification, Self-Love, Self-Nurture, Self-Obsession,
Self-Pity, Self-Preoccupation, Self-Promotion, Self-Protection, Self-Regard, Self-Righteousness,
Self-Satisfaction, Self-Understanding, Self-Worship, Self-Worth

Quotes and Comments

Self   |   Self-Worth   |   Self-Love and Loving Our Neighbour as Ourselves   |   Self-Esteem   |   Low Self-Esteem

Self-Realization   |   Narcissism   |   The Children of the Culture of Limitless Self-Regard

Self: Articles   |   Self: Some Scriptures   |   Foundations: Index



"Natural evolution [is] part of a deeper spiritual evolution of consciousness ... divinity within all of us emerging more fully into manifestation, resulting in a broader, deeper sense of Self"
[quoted at source].

"Why are we offended and irritated with other Christians? Surely, because Self is still on the throne of our lives. We consider ourselves so important, that we feel we must be respected and consulted by others. We feel that others must behave and order their affairs as we want them to. We expect others to be kind and considerate to us, to 'make much' of us and praise us. Such feelings and expectations are clear evidence of the fact that we know nothing of the cross experientially. Our lives are still dominated by selfishness and revolve exclusively around Self and its interests"

"Jesus came to save us from self"



"We are created in the image of God; we are fearfully and wonderfully made; our names were written; we were chosen ... in Him; we are God's own possession; and we have an inheritance. These phrases all have one thing in common: they are things done to us or for us by God. These are not things we have done for ourselves, nor have we earned or deserved them. We are, in fact, merely the recipients of 'all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ' (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we can conclude that our worth is not really of the 'self' at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him because of the price He paid to make us worthy - the death of His Son on the cross"

"The Bible tells us that 'while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us' (Romans 5:8). In fact, we 'were dead in trespasses and sins' (Ephesians 2:1). What worth is there in dead things? None. God imputed to us His own righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) not because we were worthy of it, but because we were unworthy, unlovable, and unable to make ourselves worthy in any way"


Self-Love and Loving Our Neighbour as Ourselves

"The focus of love in the Bible is upward and outward instead of inward. Love is both an attitude and and action to one another. And while love may include sentiment and emotional affection, it is primarily volitional action for the glory of God and good of others"

"Jesus does not command self-love, but rather love for God and love for one another. The Bible presents an entirely different basis for love than humanistic psychology preaches. Rather than promoting self-love as the basis for loving others, the Bible says the God's love is the true source ... God's love is self-giving ... not a self-satisfying love"

"John ... describes the sequence of love. In contrast to the teachers of self-love, who say that people cannot love God and others until they love themselves, John says that love originates with God and then extends to others (1 John 4:19-21)"

"The statement 'love your neighbor as yourself' is not a command to love yourself. It is natural and normal to love yourself - it is our default position., There is no lack of self-love in our world. The command to 'love your neighbor as yourself' is essentially telling us to treat other people as well as we treat ourselves. Scripture never commands us to love ourselves; it assumes we already do. In fact, people in their unregenerate condition love themselves too much - that is our problem"

"Jesus did not command us to love ourselves. He did not say that there were three commandments (love God, love neighbor, and love self). Instead, He said, 'On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets' (Matthew 22:40). Love of self here is a given - a fact - not a command"

"Linguistically, agapao is other-directed throughout Scripture, never self-directed. The concept of self-love is not the subject of the Great Commandment. it is only a qualifier. When Jesus commands us to love God with 'all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength' (Mark 12:30), He is emphasising the all-encompassing nature of this agapao love (an action-love that is beyond the possibility of the natural man, and only possible through divine grace). If He has used the same words for loving neighbor, He would have encouraged idolatry. However, for the next degree of intensity He used the words, 'as thyself'"

"From the totality of Scripture ... the love one naturally has toward himself is commanded to be directed towards others. We are not commanded to love self. We already do. We are commanded to love others as we already do ourselves"

"[T]he proper Biblical position for a Christian is not to encourage, justify, or establish self-love, but rather to devote one's life to loving God and loving neighbour as [one already loves] self"

"We are to take our eyes off ourselves and care for others"



"The self-esteem movement began in the third chapter of Genesis ... The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil spawned the sinful self with its self-love"

"Hundreds of studies have failed to show that self-esteem training produces lasting positive results ... merely feeling good about yourself doesn't necessarily make you more effective. ... recent studies suggest that self-esteem training may be harmful - that it leads many students to overestimate their abilities, for example"
[Dr. Robert Epstein, 'The Loose Screw Awards', Psychology Today, (2005), quoted at source].

"[T]eenagers with high self-esteem are less inhibited, more willing to disregard risks and more prone to engage in sex"
['Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth', Scientific American, (Jan 2005)].

"That ... scholarly tome, The Social Importance of Self-Esteem, summarizes all the research on the subject in the stultifying boring prose of wannabe scientists. Save yourself the 40 bucks the book costs and head straight for the conclusion: There is precious little evidence that self-esteem is the cause of our social ills"
[quoted at source].

"Even though [the authors of The Social Importance of Self-Esteem] searched for a connection between low self-esteem and problematic behavior, they could not find a cause and effect link. However, more recent studies indicate a definite relationship between violent behavior and high self-esteem"

"Until the advent of humanistic psychology and its heavy influence in the church, Christians generally thought of self-esteem as a sinful attitude"

"Along with the world, numerous Christians still believe in promoting and fostering self-esteem, even though it is an unbiblical goal. The Bible clearly says that we are not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3) and ... to 'let each esteem other better than themselves' (Phil 2:3)"

"In spite of all the verbal juggling to justify self-esteem, it still boils down to pride"


Low Self-Esteem

"When I was a new Christian, I battled feelings of failure and worthlessness daily. A wise teacher suggested meditating on God's love promises 'day and night' (Psalm 1) for one month. She gave me a list: 'I have loved thee with an everlasting love' (Jeremiah 31:3); 'Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art mine' (Isaiah 43:1); 'Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee' (Isaiah 43:4); '[W]e are more than conquerors through him that loved us' (Romans 8:37); 'For I am persuaded, that ... [nothing] shall be able to separate [me] from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Romans 8:38-39). I affirmed these truths each morning when I awoke, as often as I remembered them during the day, and before going to sleep at night. Within a week, I had memorised them. and they began to flow through my mind with little effort on my part. God's Word was becoming part of me. By the end of the month, I was a change person ... No man-made affirmation can compare with the effectiveness of God's personal promises"

"Shyness [low self-esteem] can actually be a form of pride. Fear of what people will think about us and being overtly concerned for the opinions of men (Ephesians 6:6-7, Proverbs 29:25) can be a reflection of obsession with self. But the Bible says we are not to be worried about the opinions of men"

"[L]ow self-esteem [can be] a form of pride. Some people have low self-esteem  because they want people to feel sorry for them, to pay attention to them, to comfort them. Low self-esteem can be a declaration of 'look at me' just as much as pride. It simply takes a different route to get to the same destination, that is, self-absorption, self-obsession, and selfishness"

"I ministered ... in Pueblo, Colorado, many years ago, and a man came up to me after the meeting and said, ... 'I have such low self-esteem that I hate myself ...'  Pride, at its core, is simply self-centredness or selfishness. Timid and shy people are extremely self-centred people. I know this to be true because I was an introvert. I couldn't look at people in the face and talk to them. I was so consumed with me that I was always thinking, 'What are they going to think of me? Am I going to make a mistake and look foolish?'  That self-centredness made me shy. ... pride is not only thinking we are better than others; pride can be thinking we are worse than others or just being self-conscious. It doesn't matter if self is always exalting itself or if it's debasing itself. It's all self-centredness, which is pride"

"If you hate yourself because you do not 'measure up' according to worldly standards, realize that in doing so you are showing hatred or anger toward God who made you as you are and placed you in your current circumstances. If you hurt yourself in act of self-hatred, is this not truly an act of vengeance against God? We are to show thanks and honor to the sovereign God who made us and placed us in our circumstances, no matter what these may be"

"Our awareness of God's holiness makes us feel appropriately wretched. But this sense of clarity regarding who we are and how we compare with an utterly holy God does not need to result in self-destructive hatred of ourselves. Rather, it should point us toward receiving the salvation and forgiveness that God offers us"



"Our Lord's teaching is always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of man; His purpose is to make man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts. It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out if us. Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all. 'He that believeth on me ... out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water' (John 7:38) - hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed"
[Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, quoted at source].



"Empathy is impossible for the narcissist because his only perspective is the one centered on self"

"Psychological theories about narcissism suggest that the narcissistic person used defense mechanisms to idealise self so that he does not have to face his own mistakes (sin) or flaws (fallen state). The diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder outlines the behavior patterns of a narcissistic person as being haughty, non-empathetic, manipulative, and envious; he also possesses a sense of entitlement and grandiosity"

"From a biblical perspective, it is clear that these heart conditions are due to pride, which is sin (Proverbs 16:18). The narcissist routinely disobeys [the] command in Philippians 2:4"

"We discover that to the narcissist and his or her culture, all criticism is hate"


The Children of the Culture of Limitless Self-Regard

The following is an extended extract from the article Redefining Hate: From Diabolical Anti-Love to Any Criticism of the Fragile Self

"I remember my first encounter when being taught Rogerian counselling techniques ... There were two core elements: unconditional positive regard, and self-actualisation.  The implications of this non-directional counselling approach were that the client would flourish if provided with limitless affirmation and minimal direction, criticism or moral interference.

"Self-actualisation, which overlaps with Jung's promotion of something very similar which he called 'individuation', replaced any external criteria of expectation (God for example) with the trust that the internal needs of the person would make themselves known, and, in the right affirming environment, grow and flourish. The highest levels of self-regard were crucial to this process.

"Rogers was born into a faithful Pentecostal family and, as a bright young man, became an atheist. He exchanged an anthropology which saw humanity as flawed by sin for one which saw it flawed only by external and internal criticism.

"Jung's idea of individuation - wholly untested and empirically evasive - also looked for the goal of self-development as the main aim of the human journey. He looked to the opposite poles of good and evil, male and female, rationality and feeling, and prescribed a route of integration of opposites as the fuel for the full development of the inner god-like potential of the Self.  His theory of the Self was that it replaced any external God with an innate sense of the inner divine. We did not need to be transformed by a God out there - because we had the inner god of the Self, in here.

"These wholly un-Christian maps of the psyche and mind required unlimited self-regard, and replaced external moral agency with internal self-serving. They challenged, undermined and replaced the old Christian world view and language.  In this new world of uncritical affirmation, 'love' took on a new meaning. It became the insistence on accepting someone 'as they are', with no preconditions and no criticism. What, then, does criticism of the demanding and emerging ego constitute? Why, the opposite: 'hate'.

"In Christian vocabulary, 'hate' is a very terrible thing indeed. It is anti-God; the disposition of all evil. But in the psychotherapeutic landscape of neo-ethics, where the goal is the ego and emerging self, 'hate' is anything that is anti the self.  Imagine the scenario where there are external moral demands from an external ethical source that challenged the ego's agenda and perceived sense of need. Why, this would be anti-love; it would be hate.

"And suddenly it all falls into place. If, in the name of an external morality, a Christian voice were to challenge the demands [that] the therapised ego insisted made it happy or actualised, this Christian, or the Bible whose words the Christian was calling upon, would become 'hate speech'. ...

"We discover that to the narcissist and his or her culture, all criticism is hate.

"As we place these two worlds in contrast with each other, the world of Christian revelation on the one hand and the world of self-revelation on the other, key words, whose meaning we thought that we thought we all agreed upon, begin to signify very different values and meanings:

  • God becomes not Yahweh, or the Holy Trinity, but the primacy of the Self;
  • Holiness morphs slowly into wholeness ...;
  • Love becomes not unending mercy, charity or forgiveness, but uncritical regard of the other, or of the Self;
  • Hate becomes not a diabolical anti-love, but any criticism of the Self's proclaimed agenda of uncritical self-regard. ...

"The Culture of Limitless Self-Regard has mined its memory and unconscious to release its anger and harnesses it as hate, which it directs towards any agency that suggests stoic or Christian restraint. It identifies any refusal to accept its demands for self-realisation or self-satisfaction on its own terms as hate.

"The struggle in the Church is not one of compassion versus hate: it is one of revelation versus narcissism. ... Authentic orthodox Christianity will continue to challenge this shallow heresy of self-regard and self-indulgence, not in the name of hate, but quite the opposite - in the name of the holiness and mercy of the God who came in the chaste person of His Son to set us free from the tyranny of the self and wash us clean from self-preoccupation.

"The reason heresy matters, and must be fought with passion and intellectual clarity, is because heresy does not tell the truth about God or the self. And only the Truth can set us free."




Thus saith the LORD,
Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way,
and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls
(Jeremiah 6:16)




Please note that the inclusion of any quotation or item on this page does not imply we would necessarily endorse the source from which the extract is taken; neither can we necessarily vouch for any other materials by the same authors, or any groups or ministries or websites with which they may be associated, or any periodicals to which they may contribute, or the beliefs of whatever kind they may hold, or any other aspect of their work or ministry or position.

Elizabeth McDonald