Self Esteem as it relates to the Bible

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This position is based on our acknowledging that God is responsible for every positive attribute we possess.  The Psalmist writes that “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us and not we ourselves” Psalm 100:3.

For one to discus self esteem from a Biblical perspective, there is need to investigate the ingredients that make self esteem and see how scripture provides for them :

a) Appearance: God is not impressed with outward appearance but looks at the heart of a person “—the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks  at the heart”  Samuel 16:7. In the long run what matters is what God sees in you when He looks at you.

b) Competence: Our competence comes from God and Apostle Paul who was used mightily of God acknowledges this when he says “not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God, who has also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant” 2 Corinthians 3:5,6. Stop trying to be perfect because only God is perfect. He is able to empower you to do exceedingly more than you can think.

c) Intelligence: God has bestowed on all of us a measure of intelligence to relate to Him according to his purposes.  In the greatest commandment, Jesus attributes our worship of God as including our heart, mind, soul and might. However God places wisdom above intelligence because having knowledge without understanding is futile. It is interesting to note that some of the smartest people in the world resist the knowledge of God, because it is foolishness to them. Yet scripture says that “the fool, says in his heart ‘there is no God’” Psalm 14:1.  Paul adds that the “message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” 1 Corinthian 1:18-19.

d) Personality: To know ourselves as God made us is to accept our personality for there is a purpose for which God created us the way we are. “Woe to him who strives with his maker—shall the clay say to him who forms it ‘what are you making?’” Isaiah 45:9. Moses when called to deliver the children of Israelites out of bondage tried to argue with God about his weakness in communication, but scripture reports that the Lord said to him “ who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?” Exodus 4:11.

e) Success: God’s view of success is different from that of humans. In Joshua 1:8 God tells Joshua “this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success”. In other words true success is established in God and sustained in God. Apostle Paul recounts his success from a worldly perspective but says that “what things were gain to me I have counted loss for Christ. Yet —for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and counts them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him” Philippians 3:7-9.

f) Unconditional self Worth: We are God’s beloved ransomed from the bondage of sin. Paul implores on believers to “be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love as Christ also has loved us and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma” Ephesians 5: 1-2.

 g) Self Forgiveness: Forgiving ourselves releases us to receive the unconditional love of God towards us. It affirms the sufficiency of Christ’s blood for the remission of our sins for in Christ “we have the redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound towards us in all wisdom and prudence”  Ephesians 1:7-8. Thus failing to forgive self denies the power and effectiveness of God’s grace.

h) Acceptance of Weakness: God understands our weaknesses and in fact works through them to perfect His grace on us. The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us that we have a high priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses, Hebrews 4:15-16. An example can be seen in Apostle Paul testimony of his “thorn in the flesh” and what the Lord said to Him having prayed for it to be removed. He says the Lord answered “my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” Paul would therefore “take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distress for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak then I am strong” 2 Corinthinas12:9-10.

i) Self Love: Love from the Biblical perspective is triangular. Asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered to love God with all your heart, soul and mind “And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself” Mathew 22:37-39. You can only love others as much as you love yourself for you can only give what you have. John the apostle says, “let us love one another for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” 1 John 4:7-8. Thus to love self in the Biblical sense entails seeking the ultimate, eternal good for ourselves which motivates us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” Mathew 6:33.

j) Freedom from Guilt: True guilt is resolved through Christ’s blood, for “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John1”9. False guilt has no place in the life of a Christian for in Christ we are sanctified (John17:19) justified by His blood, reconciled to God, are righteous, (Romans 5:9, 10, 19), there is no condemnation, Romans 8:1, we are blameless and above reproach in His sight, Colossians 1:22, and the elect of God holy and beloved, Colossian 3:12.


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