But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self... (2 Timothy 3:1, 2)
One day, a lawyer, a so called "expert" in the Mosaic Law, asked Jesus this question, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" (Matthew 22:36) This question, of course, wasn't an honest search for truth. With apologies to my lawyer friends, sometimes lawyers ask questions with deceitful political motives and this question was just a disingenuous attempt to try to entrap Jesus.
Jesus replied, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment." (Matthew 22:37)This chapter ends with a condemning, but amusing, comment about these so called "legal experts"; ...Nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question! (Matthew 23:46)
We are commanded to love God and others. But nowhere in Scripture are we told to love ourselves. We live in a culture that promotes the importance, even virtues, of self-esteem and self love. This, I believe, is another sign that we are in the last of the last days. In homes and schools, at work and play, even in some churches, self-esteem and self love is taught and encouraged. We are told that in order to love God and others, we must first love ourselves.
On the contrary, Jesus said; "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luke 9:23) In other words, rather than loving ourselves, we are to die to self each day and follow Jesus' example of loving God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. Maranatha!