Sunday, August 3, 2008

Self-Love


Christians weighing in on Botkin Syndrome:

Excerpts from "Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves" by Drs. Stoop and Masteller.

From pages 303 - 304:


The fact that they came from a home where secrecy was so prevalent makes them feel even worse about themselves. “Don’t talk” is always a cardinal rule in abusive homes...

For those who have been victims or have suffered the pain of growing up in a dysfunctional family, one of the most important truths of life is summed up in this saying of Jesus: “‘Love the Lord your god with all your heard 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)

Most of us are aware that the Bible commands us to love God and to love our neighbor. But I want you to notice two little words in this passage. Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Many people struggle with the idea that we are supposed to “love ourselves.” It sounds so selfish. Actually, Jesus does not so much teach that we should love ourselves as he assumes that we do love ourselves. And why not? Are we not created in the very image and likeness of God? Is our welfare not of such importance to God that “even the hairs on our heads are all numbered? Should we not love the things God loves, including ourselves?”

We are not talking here about the kind of “self-love” that expresses itself in self-glorification, narcissism, despising others, and so on. Rather we are talking about a self-love that acknowledges our worth and dignity as one of God’s sons or daughters and acts accordingly. We have already seen that our duty to love our neighbors includes forgiving them when they do us wrong. Should we not likewise be about to forgive ourselves?


Excerpt from
Dr. David Stoop & Dr. James Masteller's
"Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves:
Healing Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families"
Regal/Gospel Light, 1996 (Servant, 1991)
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