Is Happiness a Necessity for Loving Others?

Today's guest blogger is Linda Rice. Linda counsels at Gateway Biblical Counseling and Training Center. M.A. in Biblical Counseling. Certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.  You can read more of Linda's writing here. Today's blog is reposted with permission.   

What someone said to me: “Until I am happy with myself I cannot help others.”
Many hold this belief. I used to, also. Other versions include:
I have to love myself before I can love others.
My problem is low self-worth. I need a sense of significance.
I don’t have confidence because of low self-esteem.
Do you realize that…
… when (not if) you receive hard knocks of life, 
     when people don’t treat you well, 
     when you feel like you hate yourself too much to do anything but cry,
…if you wait on your own feelings of happiness or sense of worth or significance before you 
     control your anger or
     return good for evil or
     do the right thing or 
     serve others or
     speak kindly to others or
rejoice in Christ,
…you are making everyone else wait on your feelings? 
Who is that about?
Who is this belief and practice esteeming as the person most important to you?
What the Bible says:
You already love yourself.
“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it…” (Eph. 5:29).
So if you want to love Jesus you must…
“Deny yourself, take up your cross daily [die to self daily], and follow Me”(Luke 9:23).
Only in that way can you do what it takes to love others, because you must…
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself” (Phil. 2:3).