If you love someone, do you want them to take care of themselves? Of course you do. Every parent does. God is our Father, loves us, and wants us to care for ourselves.
Part of God’s grief when we sin is that we destroy ourselves and keep ourselves from blessing.
All of God’s commands are for our good. Therefore, obedience to God is always synonymous with loving ourselves, since it always results in the greatest personal blessing, happiness, joy, peace, etc.
One night, as I went to sleep, I was grieved that I hadn’t followed God that strongly that day, watching a ISU basketball game and trying to help install an old computer game that my son wanted to play. My grief was partly because my soul wasn’t satisfied by either activity and that my son’s soul wasn’t really satisfied either. I felt that I hadn’t taken very good care of my soul that day and so hadn’t loved myself very well.
Loving God always results in loving yourself.
Truly loving yourself is done by loving God and others
Our problem is that we are deceived about how to love ourselves, about how to best care for ourselves.
Worshiping self is different than loving self. Worshiping yourself is based on falsehood, since we are not intrinsically worthy of worship. Worshiping yourself is actually hating yourself, since it results in your destruction and death.
The wages of sin is death. Sinning is the ultimate way of not caring for yourself, since it results in the loss of everything we hope for, desire, and aspire to attain.
We are to love others as we love ourselves. This does not depreciate loving self. There is a sense that loving yourself is expected and authorized by the verse.
People do tend to love themselves and do what they think will result in their greatest happiness, and often do know how to achieve that. God wants us to expand the same concern to others, while not diminishing our concern for ourselves. Philippians 2:3 does seem to say that we should have more concern for others than ourselves. But I think that these verses are looking at a short-term view. Putting others needs above ourselves is actually best for ourselves in the long run.
Peter tells his readers to abstain from selfish lusts, which wage war against the soul and so appeals to their desire to care for themselves (1 Peter 2:11).