By Gracey, with written permission.
“I hate posting things like this…I really do…in my flesh it feels like I’m sticking my head in the lion’s mouth. But I choose to post because I love my family and friends. If I see a lie floating around that will hurt my loved ones I will do everything I can to stop it, and I truly hope you’d do the same for me.
Dear parents, parents of older kids and younger kids, as someone in my age group/generation, I feel like I have to bring this to your attention. I’m not an expert, but I feel like I have a good grasp of things that are trending on social media, especially YouTube and Instagram. Moms and Dads, I know you’re so busy and working hard and sometimes things go on online that you may not even know about.
There is a new culture forming, mostly with my age group and younger. It’s a culture of self love. Self love sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it?
Let me be very clear, it’s not.
It is completely unbiblical and idolatrous.
Multifaceted Culture of Self Love
This self love culture is multifaceted. It includes, but is not limited to, speaking self-affirmations, visualization, and even sometimes worship of earth and nature, among other things. It’s cleverly packaged to sound like helping people take care of themselves when it is so much more than that.
Let me break this down/summarize a couple of these things:
Wikipedia defines this as “Affirmations in New Thought and New Age terminology refer primarily to the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment – fostering a belief that ‘a positive mental attitude supported by self love affirmations will achieve success in anything’.” Some affirmations that you’ll hear in the self-love culture include “I am strong”, “I am worthy”, “I am love”, “I am glorious”, “I am beautiful”, “I deserve…”.
As Christians, whether you’re in my same generation or older, we have a God-given responsibility to speak truth against these lies…
“You’re not worthy, but God loved and redeemed you because He loves you, He’s merciful and full of grace.”
“You’re not love. God is love.”
“He is glorious”
“Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart”
“You deserve nothing, but God blesses us anyway because He loves us”.
You and I are nothing … without Christ.
We are not entitled to success, wealth, prosperity or having life our way…nor do we have any power within ourselves to will something into existence based on our very human thoughts and words.
Simply put, visualization, in this context, is the act of thinking about/picturing something that you want in your mind with the goal of manifesting that thing into existence. Want a tall, dark and handsome husband? Just think about it or picture him enough in your mind and you will attract him to you by the power of universal energy. Want to be rich? Clearly visualize yourself as the successful, wealthy person you wish to be and attract that life.
Even in just these two things: affirmations and visualization, we have a perfect storm for self-idolatry. First, convince yourself that you are amazing and worthy, and then convince yourself that you’re entitled to a specific life or deserve certain things and that you have the power to attract those things to you.
Earth worship often enters into this equation because much of self-love is evident through the perfect diet and external environment.
When you remove God from the throne and replace him with the universe and earth as your caregivers, the means by which you will be given the life that you seek, you will begin to view them as the givers of life, abundance and beauty. Verbs that God tells use to apply to other people begin to be used on the planet: love the earth, have compassion on the planet, etc.
Another popular thing is for people to try to combine this self-love mentality with Christianity. Some interpret the verse “love your neighbor as yourself” to mean that we have to learn to love ourselves before we love other people.
We don’t need to learn to love ourselves….we are born loving ourselves.
That’s why Eve ate the fruit.
It’s why kids take things that don’t belong to them.
It’s why teens are rebelling against their families and parents.
It’s why we sin and justify sin.
Self Love, The Problem
Self love is the problem, not the solution. We are called to love other people as we already love ourselves. We are called to be SERVANTS. We are called to love God, love others, serve, give, be meek, sacrifice, share truth in love, share the gospel, share hope and share Christ. We are to give what we have and share with others. Christ was our example of this. As Christ hung on the cross…this mighty King and holy God, He didn’t shout out “I am glorious!”, but He would have been fully deserving of that praise.
He was a servant, a sacrifice for us who used his last breaths to say “Father, forgive them”, make provisions for His mother, and say “It is finished”. Christ, the suffering servant…and our example of what we are to be.
This is nothing new. It’s been around forever, but please do not underestimate the seriousness of this issue. It’s paganism and idolatry. It’s self-worship and worshiping and serving the creation rather than the Creator.
It’s using verbs like love, compassion, care, and serve and applying them to the planet instead of to people.
The chain of worship is
- then others
It’s a slippery slope and literally hundreds of thousands of people are getting into this. Please be watchful.
Glory belongs to Christ and Christ alone. The enemy is all over this. He is stirring this pot in the souls of many to take our eyes off the majesty and love of our wonderful God and put it on ourselves. To this I respond with the words of a great hymn:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” ~Words and lyrics, Helen Howarth Lemmel,
“What a difference it would be if our system of morality were based on the Bible instead of the standards devised by cultural Christians.” ~William Wilberforce, Real Christianity