One of the major teachings that I hear floating around is how to love but in the wrong way. One concept that keeps defining love is this: "One can't love others until they love themselves!" I heard a preacher once state that "self love is the door to loving others." It sounds logical but it is not God's love.
Paul warned Timothy that hard, grievous times would come because "men will be lovers of self."(II Tim. 3:2) One can hold to a form of godliness, looking good but powerless in their lives. We see it often. People aren't thrilled with certain things in the lives of others and what do they do? Attack! If something doesn't go our way or the direction we think it should be, we fly into someone with an outburst. That's a good illustration of self love. That's is the flesh dominating. Love is powerful and never fails (I Cor. 13:8). Love seeks the highest good of others at a cost to you. We see this love in the death of Jesus. He was not a self lover or seeker. Jesus gave up His rights for us and sought our highest good. Love does not seek it's own (I Cor. 13:5).
Just take close inventory of yourself and see what happens when things don't go your way or when your plans aren't considered. We may feel slighted but what you do with that shows either love of self or the powerful godly love. Sometimes in the church, things won't go well because people are selfish and fleshly. What do you do? Love. We must bear up and rather than react in an ungodly fashion with outbursts at someone, let it go and reach out to do our part to help encourage. That means there is no room for bad attitudes or pouty feeling shown. Love does not do that. Jesus did not do that! Jesus loved and expects us to follow in His steps.
To know God is to love (I John 4:8). To put on love is to bring unity (Col. 3:14). Everything will not always be what we want or expect but love will always take us into the heart of God. And for love to exist, self must go! If self does not go, love will not exist.