I had hoped for more interaction about this on the recent thread on psychology, but not much happened there. So I'll try with this. By modern standards, the Apostle Paul had low self esteem. Note the following verses: Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing. Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. So, nowadays they'd probably say Paul was mentally ill. But he, on the other hand, would say that advocates of self esteem are promoting a terrible error. He even prophesied about self-lovers in the last days: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves..." (2 Tim. 3:1-2). The truth is, "self esteem" is a completely secular teaching, with no basis whatsoever in Scripture. It was invented by William James in 1890 and popularized by secular psychologist Abraham Maslov (1908-1970), who defined it according to human needs. So now people are urged, even in Christian circles, to seek their "needs" in order to build their self esteem, to listen to how others talk about them and praise them in order to lift their self esteem. This is all un-Biblical. The Bible teaches us to deny self, to love God and our neighbor as we already love ourselves. It teaches, I believe, that success in the Christian life comes not from loving one's self, but from self-sacrifice, from going against one's own best interests, from offering everything we are to God.