Lover of Self vs Loving Yourself

2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 
Matthew 22:36-40 says, “36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
“Love you neighbor as yourself” is the second greatest commandment in all of scripture because it truly fulfills the law of love and freedom. If we love others, then we are not going to do anything that causes harm or pain to others, such as murder, stealing or adultery. All of the law is fulfilled in the fact that we treat others the way we want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). But here is the main thing:  how can you love your neighbor as yourself if you truly do not love yourself? 
Now, to some this may sound self-centered, idolatrous and even an effort to promote “seeker friendly Christianity”, but the reality is that it is Biblical. You cannot love you neighbor as yourself if you hate who you are, which is why it is so important to put on the identity of Jesus Christ. Of course, you cannot hate Jesus, and so pursuing His loving and holy nature will impact how you view yourself. 
When going down this route, people will oftentimes point out scripture in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, how that in the last days people will be “lovers of themselves” to dismiss the purpose of loving themselves, which is a display of religious ignorance. Why would God, a loving Father, ever want you to hate who you really are? However, when looking at these passages of scriptures, we have different Greek words and definitions for “love” and “lovers”. In Matthew 22:39, “love” in the Greek is “agapaō”, which is where we derive “agape” love from. It is a sacrificial love, characterized in the nature of God! “Lovers” in 2 Timothy 3:2 in the Greek is “philautos”, which means, “to be fond of self” or “selfish” (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions). So, to be a lover of self means to be selfish, while loving your neighbor as yourself means to see yourself through the lens of God our Father! How that changes the whole dynamic! Therefore, stop allowing the religious and social culture of the day dictate how you view you! Look through the lens of a loving Father because at the end of the day, it will not only change your love for you, but it will change your love for you. You will begin to see beyond the dirt in people’s lives and see them for who they really, truly are!