I find that loving others too well is a great way to hide from how little I love myself. Maybe you know that feeling, too. When you take a long, hard look in the mirror, you are blinded by what you don’t like about yourself. Instead of realizing you are your own harshest critic, you hide your self-loathing in a martyr-like constant service to others. This might be the greatest lie we live as Christians. God called you just as you are, with all your faults and foibles, regardless of what you may or may not do with your life. When you live the lie of not-good-enough, you deny that God loves you. It’s a dangerous, unsafe way to live.
There must be room in your heart for self-love, alongside God-love and other-love. Of course, we all know what happens if we take that self-love side too far. If the trap of abundant other-love is a sort of exhausted self-loathing, then the pitfall of abundant self-love is petty narcissism. It’s pretty near impossible sometimes to fight the temptation to go all-in on the self-love side. It might sound cliché to say we’re bombarded by media messages, but I find that things only sound cliché because they’re so true so much of the time.