Self-love or selfishness?

Written by: Julie Stuckenschneider 

We live in a society focused on “self love”. We are told that to be successful we must focus on ourselves, do what makes us happy and put ourselves first. If we love ourselves enough then we will find true happiness and meaning in this world. We have become so entranced by this self love trend that we tend to miss out on more meaningful things in life. Instead of helping others we choose the path that better fits our circumstances or one that will put us ahead whether that be in your career, education or even fitness.

Our society has even become so focused on “self love” that we are willing to reach our goals at the expense of a life. In a survey of 957 women who had abortions 90% of them were due to reasons regarding “self”. Once you become pregnant it is not exclusively your own life you are concerned with. You are now responsible for another human no matter how small they may be and it is in our natural human instinct to not cause harm to another life. We have become so selfish that the thought of killing a baby in the womb doesn’t phase us if it is for the false belief of betterment in our personal lives. Yet when we’ve exhausted all self-love options and reached the “top” we still feel empty and unhappy.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4 

Allie Beth Stuckey states it best in her book You’re Not Enough (and that’s okay), the prerequisite for real love is self-forgetfulness, not self love. What this means is if you replace self-love with God’s love, which is a factor that will never change you find true happiness and peace. She also states that as we go throughout our lives we should apply the same instincts we have to take care of and be kind to ourselves to other people as well. We should count others as even more important than we count ourselves and should sacrifice our needs for the good of others. And this concept applies to others of all ages and size.

A normal person would never dream of harming a newborn baby for self gain so why is a child in the womb any different?