The current study is both exploratory and conceptual in nature and considers the controversial topic of “self-love” from both Christian and positive psychology viewpoints. Adaptive and maladaptive concepts of self-love are considered with Christian participants (n = 467) who listed God as the most important factor to happiness (Type I, n = 133) and a second group (Type II, n = 334) who considered some other factor as more important. Statistical significance was evident between groups with Type I participants scoring higher for meaning in life, engagement, and life-satisfaction measures in addition to a number of biblically-based character qualities (e.g. kindness, forgiveness, hope, to name a few). Several societal values (e.g., money, material goods, and physical appearance) were compared as well. Interestingly, Type II participants had higher scores for the value of money. A Christian model of well-being is suggested that considers the concept of adaptive self-love within the parameters of a prioritized core (i.e., love for God and others), self-character values and actions, and stewardship-intentionality for factors such as money and physical appearance. Less adaptive (to maladaptive) self-love is considered within the context of selfish character and the overvaluing of societal values in light of the warnings set forth in 2 Timothy 3.
de la Peña, Derek Ph.D.
"Loving Thyself and Well-being: What Does God Have to Do with It?,"
The Journal of Faith, Education, and Community: Vol. 3:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/jfec/vol3/iss1/4