The Pursuit of Self-Esteem Is a Trap

People who teach us to “have self-esteem” don’t want us to pay attention to negative assessments of ourselves.  However, what if God thinks our behavior is bad?  How is He supposed correct us if we are unwilling to receive rebuke or reproof?

Pursue the esteem of God and accept His assessments.  Do what is right in His sight and let other assessments fall by the wayside.

If you go to God and feel like you are receiving a negative assessment from Him, don’t recoil from it.  Embrace it.  For if you do embrace it you can change, you can improve.

If you can win the approval of God, you know you are doing well.  However, if the only approval you have is your own, what does it prove?

Don’t pursue self-esteem.  Pursue the esteem of God.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything else – but Him.

One Reply to “The Pursuit of Self-Esteem Is a Trap”

  1. Yes, this is my very experience too, Mike.
    Living in this fallen creation, we have little self-esteem by nature, and there is nothing in this world that compares to God’s esteem/love that finally is able to cure our own low self-esteem. His words have the power to heal our wounded hearts. Regarding the power of (spoken) words I am reminded of my own failures hurting others with what I have said in the past.

    However, sometimes people say things they don’t really mean…and sometimes, alas, this fact will have consequences nobody could anticipate. The tongue really is a fire (Jas 3:6) nobody can tame, and mere words almost can destroy lives.

    I am thinking particularly of a woman whom I know very well. She always wanted to look beautiful but had low self esteem regarding her looks since her parents never told her that she indeed was beautiful. Her relatives and friends (male and female as well) often told her that she would be a natural beauty, but she never believed them since her parents didn’t say anything about it. Quite the contrary, her father even criticized her continually for not being perfect (her looks, achievements at school/at university/at work etc.). One little unimportant mistake was criticized over and over again. The woman felt so weak facing those criticisms all the time.

    Later, being married, she wondered why so many men envied her husband to be married to her because of her beauty. She couldn’t believe it and kept on thinking she was ugly. When she was about 35 years old, she suffered from depression for the first time. One day her father visited her while she was staying in a psychiatric hospital. At that time her marriage seemed to be completely broken, but her father assured her that this fact would be no problem for her since she would easily find another man because of her beauty. Indeed, she was amazingly astonished about that statement, and couldn’t believe it at all, though her parents told her both that they had feared from her childhood that she would have been smug about too many people making compliments to her. I do comprehend the thinking of the parents who wanted to protect her, yet I think they were wrong. But who never makes mistakes in their life?

    Even if this seems to be no big deal (to think that one is ugly though he or she isn’t), it may have severe consequences and influence on life one cannot get rid of but by God’s help alone. By the way, having been sexually abused earlier, and finally also been raped in her youth by three men were additional reasons for her depression and low self esteem. Those reasons always left her doubting whether someone could really love her as a woman, and as a both human and spiritual being, not only as a fleshly body which others seemingly found beautiful while she hated her body, not least because of its “fatal” attraction she could never comprehend.

    I’d like to know whether she can believe and be sure of love tomorrow…or maybe later when Jesus will have set her free. Maybe, some people need fortune or money to fill the emptiness, but I believe in this case God’s sweet love alone will heal her. Yet I am still praying since I can’t help her at all.

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