Upon reading your good question, I immediately thought of Ephesians 5:29 which says, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.”  This is given to us to show how a man should love his wife, and show kindness to her. As no man neglects the happiness of his own body, or himself, so he should show equal care to stimulate the happiness of his wife.  In our love for ourselves, we take measures to take care of ourselves.  We are cautious in our decisions; we try to exercise properly and eat wisely.  We are aware of what we fill our minds with.  Indeed, we ‘nourish and cherish’ ourselves.  (We should treat our wives with such care!)

Let us compare that with 2 Timothy 3:1-2 which says, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”

It is obvious that in the typical person there is a degree of self-love and that is normal.  However, there is a danger in loving oneself TOO MUCH.  When we love ourselves so much that we put our own wants and needs above others, we are focusing upon ourselves entirely too much.  We are told in Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  As humble believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we should put great value on the needs of others, considering their needs above our own.  We cannot do that when we occupied with ourselves…when we love ourselves more than we should.

The Lord Jesus instructs us in Matthew 22:39, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”  If we reach the point that we are so occupied with our own pleasure and happiness that we cannot possibly love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves…then we have gone too far with self-love. 

Proper self-love will lead us to do proper things.  Proverbs 19:8 tells us, “One who gets wisdom LOVES HIS OWN SOUL; One who keeps understanding will find good.” (NASB).  To a degree, self-love causes us to appreciate how the Lord has created us.  Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise thee; for I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Loving oneself too much only leads to destruction.  Luke 12:16-21, “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  This rich, selfish man could only think of himself and gaining more and more.  So much so that he did not even consider his spiritual needs.  His foolish self-love kept him from seeking the love of God.   He perished in his sins because of that. 

Our love for ourselves should cause us to revere and honor the Lord.  Too much love for ourselves produces pride, jealousy, indifference towards other, and neglecting our need for a savior.

How can we know if we are loving ourselves properly?  How can we know that we aren’t loving ourselves too much?  Ask the Lord to search your heart and show its true contents to you.  Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  (464.4)