Self-esteem

<<attitude towards self>>

This is the overall level of self-acceptance or value we put on ourselves, whereas self-confidence relates more to how we consider we master a specific task. Through self-evaluation we decide whether we are worthy to be loved, (by ourselves and the important others in our lives). This can result in positive or negative feelings and is further reflected in the relationships and people we surround ourselves with. We judge if we are succeeding or failing in the realization of our values, yet we should not equate failure with a lack of self-worth.

Our worth is because we are made in God’s image so accept His true estimation of yourself and do not buy into the devil’s opinion – he is jealous because of the position he forfeited (Isa 14:12-15). Even when we sin, God still loves and values us although He is not pleased with our behaviour and longs for us to repent and restore the relationship.

You are looking at a masterpiece                          of God in your mirror

Our own appraisal and others’ estimations of us can both be defective, so we must see ourselves through God’s eyes, as being chosen in Christ. We then discover “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God” (Eph 1:11; 1 Pet 2:9,10; 1 Jn 3:1).

Rather than relying on others to give us a sense of significance, (knowing that if people can give it, they can also take it away), we should have an internalised sense of worth and value – self-esteem – based on God’s assessment. To be honest and healthy our self-esteem needs to be based on His life and attributes in us rather than focusing on what we do, our possessions or the approval of others (Rom 12:3).

As the world judges by appearance and achievements not all of us can get ‘pass’ marks in these categories, and consequently, in the natural, suffer from low self-esteem, reflecting the opinion, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (Num 13:33). While we may feel insignificant in ourselves, we can

make an invaluable contribution to God’s Kingdom if we team up with Him, so believe in yourself more than the criticism and negative opinions of others knowing your feeling of self-worth will increase when you make significant contributions into the lives of others. Self-love is not wrong, provided it is the springboard to love others as much as we love ourselves, but it is unhealthy when a person only loves themselves to the exclusion of others (Mk 12:31; Lk 12:15-21; Eph 5:29,33; 2 Tim 3:2).

Thank God for what He has done already, and in anticipation, for the great destiny He has for you. Recognise your position and power in Christ, tempered with a realistic assessment of your weaknesses and inabilities. Also humbly accept, from His loving hands, the unchangeable features He has brought into your life. These identifiable characteristics (over which you have no control and that distinguish you from others) include, your basic physical features, your parents, your gender, and times of your birth and death, although to a limited degree some facets of your unique personality can be changed by ‘cosmetic surgery’. Allow His character to be developed in you through the limitations and what may appear to be defects, adopting Paul’s attitude of, “I am happy to be weak and have troubles, so I can have Christ’s power in me” (2 Cor 12:9).

We are God’s workmanship, masterpieces created by Him, and although marred by sin this is addressed by the blood of Christ as we choose to walk in the new life we have in Christ. He considered we were worth dying for, worth living in, worth using to fulfill His purposes and to spend eternity with (Eph 2:10). Rejoice – He chose me; I am His child (Jn 15:16)!

There are two extremes from which we can view ourselves – one is characterised by thinking more about our inadequacies than the enabling power of Christ, while the other is of arrogance, pride and overconfidence (Jdg 7:2; Jn 5:19,30; Act 3:12; Phil 4:13). Between these two extremes lies a healthy balance of humble dependence on God,

   What we do is not as important                                     as what we are

where our ‘boasting’ is only of what God has done for us (Ps 34:2; Jer 9:23,24; 1 Cor 1:31). ‘By the grace of God I am what I am’ for I am consciously applying the principles of the Bible and responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit into my spirit, doing whatever He says to me, knowing that obedience is vital (Jn 2:5; 1 Cor 15:10; Jas 1:23-25).

Believe in yourself, you are not inferior to others, so don’t be intimidated by the abilities others have –you can do things they can’t; nor be afraid of people who can only exert human control over your earthly being but have no influence over your eternal destiny (Lk 12:4,5). Tell yourself what is factual and true, not lies about yourself that you have come to believe.

Sin must be addressed, and relationship issues sorted out, so we can progress towards being whole people, having close fellowship with God, which will result to good interpersonal relationships too.

‘See’ yourself as victorious, living with Christ above the circumstances of this life.

See also: confidence, mindset, position in Christ, self-acceptance, self-confidence, self-destruction, self-image.


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