The Illusion of Self Esteem

i-love-myselfRecently, I saw a picture with a quote from a well-known Christian author and speaker.

Paraphrasing the quote, it said words to the effect of “being sure to speak more sweetly to oneself”. I must say that I respectfully disagree. Now I am not saying that you should berate yourself unless of course you feel as though you deserve it, and that is how you keep  yourself in “check”. Just kidding.

No but, I am going to illustrate how most people get too wrapped up in self-esteem. Personally, I do not believe in “self” esteem. I believe in being confident in who God is molding me to be.

To be made more into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  You see, I believe that our identity should be in Christ alone therefore there is no need for the “self” in esteem.

Besides, doesn’t God’s word say to esteem others higher than oneself? Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”(NKJV)

Hmmm… so where does self-esteem fit in there and mesh with God’s word? If anyone has an argument for that I would love to read it.

Often times I hear parents say that their children suffer from low or bad self-esteem and that they are reading such and such book, following such and such speaker, author or psychologist. Some parents are spending scads of money on therapy all to help their children have a better self-image or self-esteem.  self_esteem_pills

I understand that parents want their children to have a healthy image, be confident, productive members of society and that is all fine and good but, when the focus on self takes over, that is where the problem lies. I think that by and large, as Christian parents, of course, we try to do what we think is best but, are we truly instilling the word of God in our young ones from early on?

Are we truly investing the time to do a family bible study? Do we quote and use scripture appropriately to correct, encourage and strengthen our families? I know that sometimes I do a poor job of it and work and pray hard to do better all the time.

One thing that gets in the way of family time or time with God is the media.

Television, video games and the Internet… are all as I call them, “time stealers”. They all stealthily and incrementally steal chunks of time from our lives. They lull us to sleep and plant the seeds of wordly ideas in place of Godly ones.

There is a children’s song sung in Sunday schools everywhere that goes something like, “Be careful little eyes what you see, careful little ears what you hear”… Well, I have news for you, being careful with those things should never cease being important no matter how old you are.  God’s word also admonishes to guard our hearts and minds.

We can only discern what God’s ideas for our lives are if we take the time needed with Him in His word and listen for His still small voice. The world is noisy, the world’s voice and ideas about who you should be and what you should be eating, wearing, thinking and doing are easily heard. They fill our every sense, just about every minute of every day.

God’s voice is quiet, gentle, patient and loving. God requires us to be still, be quiet, to be in His word to know His character and discern the plans that He has for us. His plans are far better than anything we can conceive of for ourselves and are most certainly better than anything this dying world has to offer.

So whose voice will you listen to? The voice that says, that you have to consider yourself better? Or will you listen to the voice that spoke everything into being and tells us to esteem one another higher than yourself?

I truly hope that this article has encouraged you and blessed you this day.

Blessings in Christ Jesus,

Patti Cianflone

The Lord’s Lead Line

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