Is It All About Me: Self-Esteem Or Christ-Esteem? Part 1

Grace For The Journey

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11Dec  Today, people go to great extremes in protecting people’s self-esteem.  It has become a central part of our vocabulary and teaching practices.  One definition of self-esteem that I have seen is . . .

Self-esteem is

An individual’s

Subjective evaluation

Of their own worth.

We worry about our own self-esteem, and we worry about our kids’ self-esteem.  We are continually encouraged to help ourselves and others develop high self-esteem and overcome low self-esteem.

There are three things you need to know about self-esteem up front:

  1. Self-esteem is a psychological concept introduced in the 1960s, and it has steadily gained acceptance in society.
  2. Self-esteem is situational, meaning it can change according to various life situations.
  3. When self becomes the sole focus, it morphs into a misguided concept.

Where Do You Find Your Worth?

The most basic definition of self-esteem relates to one’s understanding of his or her own worth.  Unfortunately . . .

Humans have a hard time

Establishing our worth

When we fail

To view ourselves

Through the lens

Of our Creator.

Here are some key questions . . .

  • How is your view of yourself shaped?
  • Is your worth shaped by how the world sees you?
  • Is your worth defined by how many “likes” you get or how many followers you have on social media?

With the rise of social media, there are numerous studies on its effects on self-esteem. One study found 60% of people using social media reported that it has impacted their self-esteem in a negative way.

When you place your value

In other’s people’s hands,

It is no wonder your self-esteem

Is situational and changes constantly.

Feelings are fleeting; and if your self-esteem is based on feelings, you’ve got a lingering problem.  One individual put it this way, “The power to dictate your worth based on the fleeting opinions of people rather than the timeless truths of God is when problems arise”  The solution to this problem is to live by truth summed up in the following statement . . .

What other people say

About you is opinion.

What God says

About you is fact.

The way to know

Your worth is to focus

On the facts.

Instead of focusing on the opinions of others, we need to turn to the Word of God to see what He says about us.  And what He says in pretty amazing – We are loved, we are forgiven, we are cared for, we are made in His image, and on and on!

However, there is a fundamental problem with self-esteem.

The key word is “self.”

By focusing so intently on ourselves, we turn inward instead of outward.  Even those who are not Christian understand the danger of focusing on yourself more than others.  For instance, the secular magazine “Psych Central” declares, “Yes, you can have too much self-esteem.”

Self-esteem becomes a problem when you fail to realize that there are other people to consider as you go about your day.  Note that none of the [self-esteem] catchphrases say anything about ‘we,’ ‘us,’ or ‘others.’”

For those who call themselves Christians, self-esteem becomes a bigger problem. In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus told His followers:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your  neighbor as yourself.’”

If we are focusing

On loving ourselves,

Then we are not focused

On loving God and our neighbors.

We put our needs

Ahead of God and others.

Furthermore . . .

If I esteem me,

I don’t esteem Christ.

We don’t need

More self-esteem;

We need

More Christ-esteem.

In addition to that, the Bible teaches that we are supposed to deny self, not uplift self. We are to lift up Jesus.  Note what the Bible says in Matthew 16:24-26:

“Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

The Cure for Low Self-Esteem

is NOT Loving Yourself More

If you Google how to cure low self-esteem, you will find plenty of “cures.”  Unfortunately, most of these cures are self-focused.  This is not the solution; it’s part of the problem.  If you want to “cure” your low self-esteem, then . . .

The real cure is to think

About yourself less.

Instead . . .

Shift your focus

To God and others.

Look for opportunities to uplift and serve others.

The Bible says in Philippians 2:3-4,

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Instead of looking

For ways to

Lift yourself up,

Humble yourself

And

Boast in Christ!

It is only through recognizing our need for a Savior that we can understand our worth is found solely in Him.

We really need to be

More Christ esteemed

And

Less self esteemed.

When we understand what Christ did for us on the cross, we have far more than enough reason to esteem Him.  What a wonderful gift God gave to us on that cross!  It would be a shame to lose yourself in yourself and not gain the kingdom of Heaven!

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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