What Does Scripture Say About Empty Cups?

You can’t love others until you love yourself. You can’t give from an empty cup… This message is all over the Internet but is it true?

What does the Bible say? In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, we read that in the last days people will be“lovers of self . . . rather than lovers of God.”

Ouch. I don’t like the sound of that. I’m stepping on my own toes here. Hello, conviction! Am I right?!

I think self-love is acknowledging our lack of loveliness. Identifying ourselves as a redeemed people. Yes, we are loved and accepted, but it’s not because we are worthy. We’re imperfect and full of sin but Christ is worthy. Only through Him can we accept the reality of redemption. Through redemption we realize it’s not all about us and begin to look upward. 

Wait, hold up Cass! Doesn’t the Bible say ” We are perfectly and wonderfully made?!” You’re right! It does state that. Now let’s take a look at the entirety of that scripture.

“I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know [this] very well.” Psalm 139:14,CSB

We praise God because He made us. His works are good. When we fix our eyes solely on loving what we see in the mirror we fail to acknowledge the one who formed us. If we don’t accept and acknowledge the love of God we cannot hope to love ourselves or others well. Our self worth cannot be founded upon own worthiness! That isn’t a sustainable love. 

We were made in GOD’S IMAGE. Let that sink in. Isn’t that incredible?! No wonder the enemy makes it so dang hard to love the skin we’re in. To love ourselves rightly requires loving the one in whose image we were made to reflect first. Not the person staring back at me in the mirror.

The Lord declares we are all perfectly and wonderfully made. I finally decided to believe him.
Not because I discovered self love but rather the love of the creator and I trust that he doesn’t make mistakes. I believe that the fight to love myself isn’t just with my thoughts but also with the enemy.

The battle is continuous but the love of God already conquered the gates of hell to win my heart. It’s an intentional, daily choice to believe God’s thoughts over my own. I am who he says I am. I’m forgiven. I’m not my past. I’m not my flaws. His love defeated my guilt and shame. His love rescued me from myself. He did it for me and I know He’ll do it for you too if you’ll let him.

Our identity, validation and worth must be found in Christ alone. Nothing else can truly fill your cup and when He fills your cup it runneth over. Psalm23:5


Are you struggling to love the person God created you to be? Do you define yourself by the standards of the world instead of the word? If so, you’re not alone! When I find myself dealing with doubt and negative self talk I bring it to God. 

Try it! Take a moment and tell him what you’re struggling with.

EXAMPLE: Father, today I feel insignificant and worthless. Who do you say I am? 

Now ask God who He says you are and write it all down. Return to these words until you believe them!

EXAMPLE: You say I’m chosen, appointed and valuable. John 15:2-5, Matthew 10:31 


2 Comments Add yours

  1. kayleelyn93yahoocom says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy Irvin says:

    To love ourselves! It is an everyday fight in the thought life! We wrestle not against flesh and blood…!

    Liked by 1 person

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