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Loving One's Self is Spiritual Cancer

There's a phrase repeated in the Old Testament that always gets my attention: "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Wherever we see this phrase, it is always synonymous with rebellion against God. We see it in the days before the flood, in the days leading up to Babel, in the days of the judges, and in the days of the Kings of Israel. Each time we see it, God sends someone to either discipline His people, sends a judgement against them, or He removes them from where they are. Why? Because self-love causes us to detest God, and to act against our neighbor. Where we "follow our hearts" and seek our own interests, we destroy one another. Let's look at the state of Social Media, just as an example. People on social media platforms tend to think everything they do is wonderful, and seek to knock down, deplatform, or destroy the one who is in their way. When we are called out on it, we say "I wasn't hurting anyone," completely ignoring or disregarding the offense made against others in the process of us chasing our own happiness. The sad part is, apart from our screens, we're no better.

When we chase our selves, it does not matter who is in our way. We see no need for change, and we have no use for repentance, let alone the God of the universe who seeks to restore us to Himself. Our selfishness, our pride, and, yes, our foolishness in chasing our own happiness leaves, in its wake, destruction and brokenness of others. We may not see it (If we're focused on ourselves, we wouldn't see it), but the ripple effects of our self-interest make waves that can hit others with tsunami force. It's why the Great Commandment, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (sacrificially, meaning putting their needs above our own), gets us off the self-love train, and places us in humility, love, and service to God almighty. 2 Timothy 3:1-17 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

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