A dissenting opinion on self-esteem....

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Scarlett O., May 26, 2007.

  1. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,833
    Likes Received:
    114
    I view self-esteem from a different angle than it is being viewed on gekko's self-esteem thread. I'm not claiming to have the definitive answer, but here are my answers to Gekko's questions from a different point of view.



    I'm so glad you asked. :laugh:

    I do not believe that self-esteem is bad or should be shunned by Christians. It should be embraced. And, yes, I am going to quote scripture.

    The question is not do we require self-worth, but rather how do we acquire it? Through pride? (vanity, boasting, superior attitudes?) Or through humility? (appreciation of God's gifts and His working through our lives?)

    That's the crux of the matter. It's isn't a man-made issue....it's biblical. (I'll show you further down.)



    Yes....and no.

    In the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6, Jesus said not to worry about anything. Not your life, food, drink, clothing, physical attributes, the uncontrollable future, and in Matthew 10:19, not uncontrollabe people and circumstances.

    So I would have to say a big NO to Christians worrying about self-esteem.

    But, I would have to say a big YES to Christians properly seeking self-esteem and self-respect.

    Why do people NEED self-worth and self-respect?

    There are millions of people who cannot behave as the blessed person that God intended for them to be, pray to God or even make eye contact with other human beings because they loathe themselves.

    I have taught children who have no self-worth. Their parents/guardians constantly take their frustrations out on their children physically, mentally, spiritually, and verbally.

    I have known a few women whose husbands call them stupid, fat, lazy, and claim to have married an "inferior".

    I have known a couple of men whose wives constantly tell them that they never do anything right and that they are a disgusting embarrassment.

    People, including some Christians, who have very low self-worth and low opinions of themselves in terms of who God wants them to be can and will do very destructive things. Here are just three examples of behavior that can (not always) result from a poor self-image.
    • Staying with a spouse who beats you and your children. Thousands of women do this because they are convinced that they have no worth to anyone, including God, and that they cannot take care of themselves and that no one else will "take care" of them except this abusive man.
    • I believe (in my opinion) that self-loathing is part of the mind/heart problem that drives some men to solicit prostitutes or to become enslaved to pornography.
    • Many of the teenagers that I teach that are unruly to the point of being a problem do so, in part, because they feel that they are not worth the effort and they confuse the adults who are trying to lovingly correct them with the adults who berated them into self-loathing in the first place.


    NO.

    While we, as Christians, were once in the pit of our filthy sin nature and were more repugnant than a pile of cow manure, God reached into that spirital pit of filth and saved our souls. Jesus Christ died a tormenting and hideous death so that we might be saved. We are worth something to God, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. He paid an awfully high price to purchase us.
    • 1 John 3:18-20...."My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater that our heart, then have we confidence towards God."
    • 2 Corinthians 5:17....."Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are made new."
    • Jeremiah 29:11...."'For I know the thought that I think toward you,' said the LORD, 'thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you and expected end...'"
    We should not have low self-esteem, but we should temper our self-esteem with humility. In being excited about your life and happy about yourself and your family and feeling good about personal achievements, gifts, etc....just remember that God gave it all to you in the first place and give Him the glory for it.
    • Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
    • 1 John 4:4 - "....because greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world..."
    • 1 Chronicles 29:11 - "...for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine..."


    Not too high...
    • Philippians 2:3 - "...but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves" This didn't say to NOT esteem yourself or NOT to have self-respect. It simply said to stay humble and keep others in mind above yourself.
    • Romans 12:3 - "For I say...not to think of himself more highly than he ought, but think soberly..." This didn't say to NOT esteem yourself, but just to not get on your high horse and think too highly of yourself and think that you deserve God's blessings because you are worthy of them.


    I guess that you can tell by now that I believe that there are WAY TOO MANY Christians who are confusing self-worth with pride and who are confusing humility with the absense/abhorance of self-esteem.

    I think this is very destructive. The devil wants us, as Christians, to have our relationship with God and others suffer and thereby us becoming ineffective to the point that we are useless for the Kingdom of God because we can't get off of the pity pot!!

    I think that one can be quite excited about a new baby, a new car, a new house, dropping 50 pounds yet be quite humble about it, giving God the glory for it!

    One can also beat oneself up for decades over passed/forgiven sins, mistakes or tragic circumstances to the point where one believes that not even God wants us.

    Self-esteem is not the same thing as sinful pride nor arrogance.....in my lowly opinion.
     
    #1 Scarlett O., May 26, 2007
    Last edited: May 26, 2007
  2. DQuixote

    DQuixote
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quite a response. I hope none read it incorrectly, using it as a license to become "puffed up".

    There are two ways to look at this quote:

    The other way is because God is glorified in our lives we get quite excited about (fill in the blanks).
     
  3. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    If ye be in Christ, then God has esteemed you enough
    to Send His Only Son: Messiah Jesus, to die for your
    sins. You can have self esteem, in Chirst only.

    Rom 2:7-10 (KJV1611 Edition):
    To them, who by patient continuance
    in well doing, seeke for glorie, and honour,
    and immortalitie
    , eternall life:

    8 But vnto them that are contentious,
    & doe not obey the trueth, but obey
    vnrighteousnes, indignation, & wrath,
    9 Tribulation, and anguish vpon euery
    soule of man that doeth euill,
    of the Iew first, and also of the Gentile.
    10 But glory, honour, and peace,
    to euery man that worketh good,
    to the Iew first, and also to the Gentile
    .

    It is all right to seek for glory, honor, and immortality
    (eternal life) -- it is alright to have the self esteem that
    makes you to do good in this world. And when you
    do good in this world, you will receive glory, honor
    and peace. (Not cause you a good dude /or babe/
    but because JESUS PAID IT ALL /including sharing
    in His glory/.)
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem for most of us is not a lack of self-esteem. It's a lack of humility.

    The whole self-esteem movement is a hoax, and Christians shouldn't spend any time at all worrying about it. It is a humanistic movement designed to elevate humans and glorify them.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,833
    Likes Received:
    114
    As I state in the OP, I do not hold self-esteem and humility to be opposites.

    Ah! A dissent to my dissent! :laugh: :laugh:

    It's apparent to me that you and I, when talking about self-esteem, are talking about two different things.

    C'est la vie. :saint:
     
  6. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    1Thess 1
    2We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;
    3constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,



    2 Thess 1
    2Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
    4therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
    5This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

    6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
    7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
    8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.


    Phil 3
    17Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
    18For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,
    19whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.



    THE problem that we REALLY have is the knee jerk "Do as I say NOT as I do" human appeal to hypocracy.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
    #6 BobRyan, May 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2007
  7. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Neither do I, accepting your definition. Pau called himself the "chief of sinners," and considered himself less than the least of all saints and unworthy to be an apostle. But he also said he could do all things through Christ. Paul is an example of a humble man who has a postive outlook on life. It's the same Paul who lived what I consider a victorious life, yet said we ought not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.

    -----
    It's apparent to me that you and I, when talking about self-esteem, are talking about two different things.
    [/quote]

    I suspect you're right. The self-esteem hoax I'm talking about is that which glorifies self, seeks to convince bad people that they're really good. It's the kind which holds that we are worth a great deal to God, when in fact God loves his children in spite of the fact that they have nothing worthy in ourselves to offer him. It's the hoax that labels sin as a lack of self-esteem.
     
  8. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's the hoax that shouts, "I'm number 1!"
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's also the hoax that has produced all those obnoxious "celebrations" in sports.

    Chest-bumping, fist-pumping, high fives, low fives, dancing, swaggering, taunting, uncontrolled tongues, all evidence of a super-abundance of self-esteem, a super-dearth of humility, and a total absence of class.
     
  10. DQuixote

    DQuixote
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    0
    I remember football games where a guy would make a touchdown, trot back to the huddle already formed to prepare for the extra point, point made, team trots off the field. Not a trace of high fives or anything similar. Maybe a slap on the shoulder from the coach, probably just a brief handshake. It was the folks in the stands who cheered, applauded, joined the cheerleaders in a cheer. Team members were humble.

    Wow. What a different world we live in today.
     
  11. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    After the game was won, the team would shake hands with the other team, then the winning team might celebrate together.

    Not just a bunch of individuals celebrating every achievement they themselves made.

    There's also a big difference between self-confidence and self-esteem.

    Also, the fist-pumping was once used when excited and things were going well. Now, it's used more as an act of defiance telling the other guy(s) how poorly they're doing.
     
  12. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    A big difference, and thanks for making the distinction.
     

Share This Page

Loading...