God’s word warns us of those who would be “lovers of themselves” and says to turn away from such people. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
There is a vast difference in being a lover of self and in loving one’s own soul. This study will focus on Bible reasons for loving one’s own soul.
Jesus, as He taught, spoke these words, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). If the soul is more important than gaining the whole world, doesn’t this imply that the soul is of great value?
The soul differs from the body and is not dissolved by death; the soul is the part of the person that will live forever. Does that help explain the importance of the soul?
Consider Jesus’ words in Mark 8:37, “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” What is more important than one’s soul? Absolutely nothing is more important!
Jesus spoke this warning in Matthew 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” These words also teach the importance of the soul.
We take care of what is important to us. Since the soul is important and of such great value, we should love and take care of our soul. A true love for the soul will bring obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes faithful living according to the commandments of God. By doing this, the soul will not be destroyed in hell. If there is no obedience, then there is no love for the soul.
We must take care not to wrong our soul. “But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36).
We will deliberately stay away from fleshly lusts. “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
We will be watchful, for we understand the devil is seeking to destroy souls. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
We will not refuse instruction from God’s word if we love our soul. “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding” (Proverbs 15:32).
Instead, we will hunger and thirst after God and His will. “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:2).
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
If we have the proper love for our own souls, then we can truly love God as commanded, and we can obey His commandment to love others, even as we love our souls. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
Do you love you own soul in the way commanded by God?
By Dena Ivie
Dena and her husband, Charles serve with the church in Tatum, NM. Charles is the pulpit minister for the congregation of about 20 members from the local area. There are more articles by Dena on the ladies’ page of their website and on her blog.