I recently read a blog post by a fellow sister in Christ about self esteem, its a good post as she stands against the self esteem movement that seems to be sweeping the Christian community. http://biblelovenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/self-love-is-bad.html
This post caused me to meditate on this issue as I find it troubling. Before I repented and made the choice to follow Christ. I had no confidence in myself and well, I still don’t. I used to be terrified to go out anywhere, talk to people, go on buses, go to the shops, talk to a group of people, speak up. Its something that has got worse as I’ve got older but even as a child I was scared to speak up, of being laughed at, I would wear thick jumpers and coats in summer and hide in the library hoping no one would notice me. I used to say horrible things to myself and about myself to other people, I believed that everyone didn’t like me and that they were right to.
Like I said I still don’t have any confidence in myself…but I go out, I talk to people, I share my testimony to groups of people, I get the bus regularly, I no longer say horrible things about myself that aren’t true, but this has nothing to do with self esteem or confidence in myself.
Its to do with Jesus. My confidence is in Him.
God doesn’t love us because we are wonderful or beautiful, it’s true we are made in His image and everything good in us is because of Him but we chose a different way and rebelled against Him.
God loves us despite of who we are (sinners) and when we see this, repent and trust in Jesus as our saviour and commit to follow him daily then we are clothed in HIS righteousness.
I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. – Isaiah 61:10
It means we can fully give everything to Him. We don’t have to rely on our own confidence, we don’t have to be wonderful or likeable or think highly of ourselves to be somebody, we are God’s children, He has made us somebody by the shedding of His blood. I find that so freeing, I don’t have to think about myself I don’t have to like myself, or even care what others think of me, I am loved by God, despite my failures. Isn’t that amazing?
Because of this I can talk to people, I can sing in front of people, because I do it for Him, for His pleasure, you don’t have to have self esteem if you esteem Jesus above yourself.
Because I have done this, the Holy Spirit lives in me, my body is a temple of Him, it doesn’t matter what I look like as He sees what is inside. Before I didn’t look after myself, I thought I was worthless, I didn’t see the point in even dressing most days but now I am worth something because of Jesus, He has made me a daughter of God, and so I look after myself. I keep clean and look after my clothes. I am not attractive, I have hair growing out of my chin due to PCOS but I am more concerned about whether or not my heart is attractive. (This doesn’t mean I’m not tempted to be vain because I am and I’ve had to turn to Jesus for help more than once)
Before I felt I was useless, I couldn’t work so that meant that I couldn’t contribute but now I work for the Lord and He can use me no matter who I am or what is wrong with me, I can be housebound, in prison, I can be in hospital unable to move or talk and He can still use me, I am still precious to Him and I am still His and destined to be with Him.
This confidence is so much better that the shallow confidence the world offers and what is sweeping though our Church. It’s real, it’s deep and it’s rooted in Jesus.
Paul said it best when he said everything he had was loss compared to knowing Jesus, this man was esteemed highly in the Jewish community and he was highly educated. He said this:
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ – Philippians 3:8
Knowing Christ to Him was higher than everything else, including all the things we strive for in order to have self confidence. It’s all loss compared to knowing Jesus, you can think as highly of yourselves as you want but knowing Jesus is the only thing worth anything.
If you are relying on your own self esteem or thinking of yourself more than Jesus or others, if you are doing things in His name but for your own glory or ambition then I urge you to turn to Him today and ask for forgiveness. He will forgive because He is the one who is great, not us and He wants to do great things though us all. For He loves us all the same.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4