Self-love and denial of God are inseparable companions. The prominence of practical atheism in a Christian’s life is in direct proportion to his love of self.
Conversely, self-denial is the hallmark of following Christ. We are to love God with our total being, and from that love relationship comes the true God-honoring ability to love others as we should. This is true piety and purity, whereas the reverse is idolatry and sin.
“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:37-40).