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Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by TheOliveBranch, Jan 18, 2003.
Is there a place for self-esteem?
I think so. Self-esteem has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves and how we present ourselves to other people. Some people may say self-esteem and pride are the same thing. They are two totally different things. Pride is a sin, self-esteem is not. JMO
I think the term 'self-esteem' has been pretty abused and has ended up picking up a couple of different meanings. The Bible clearly says we are to esteem ourselves not, but consider others as better than we are. Thus we are to consider ourselves as little as possible and seek to elevate others.
However there are those who seem to think that not having self-esteem is the equivalent of saying that God created junk. And I disagree pretty heartily with that! Each of us is a unique and special creation of His and is loved by Him. Each of us has worth because of HIM, though, and not because of ourselves. This sort of 'self-esteem' is part and parcel of being a Christian.
Considering oneself better than others is not.
There have been a number of interesting studies done on this self-esteem thing and an interesting set of evidences has appeared: it seems that the worst legal offenders have the highest self-esteem. It also appears that those who think themselves very good in one area or another are usually weaker in that area than most others. It's an interesting phenomena.
I think there is an implicit statement in Jesus' second Great Command regarding loving others as you love yourself -- what is implicit there is that we do love ourselves. We consider ourselves rather highly rather too much of the time and take as good care of ourselves as we know how to do! Jesus' command is, "Do the same for others. Treat them the same way."
And perhaps the more we treat them the same way, the less self-esteem we end up having and the more God-esteem?
COuple of thoughts,... too often when people talk of self esteem they mean self pride.
and paul talks of not thinking more of ourselves than we should ..
I have a garbage can next to my desk...
Dear Ones in Christ;
1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
The disciples would argue who was the greatest among them, and on the eve of His sacrifice for all, our Lord Jesus Christ, knelt down and washed the feet of His disciples.
For myself I am nothing in the earthly realm, but He who is within me is greater than He who is within the world. My God reigns, and all that I would ever desire would be the most precious treasure ever, the words from the throne, "well done thou good and faithful servant". If we are a servant to the least of these, then we are servant unto our Lord Jesus Christ.
What need we to esteem ourselves, when we are vile sinners saved only by the eternal Grace of the Living God. Let us humble ourselves, and esteem He who is worthy of all glory, all honor, all praise.
May God so bless His precious children.
A servant of Christ,
I am with you, Kal-El. I was once told that self-esteem is not right for the most part. But, your child still needs to have enough self-esteem to accomplish their goals in life. I've had a hard time with that.
I also think that when Jesus told us to do the same for others, I think He wanted us to recognize how much we think of ourselves first, as an area of pride, or me first, so to speak. He really wants us to consider what we do for ouself first, and turn this to others. We'd all be on better terms if we truly practiced this, wouldn't we. Is this where the term, die to self, comes from?
Question: How can we love our neighbors as ourselves if we do not first love ourselves?
Also, In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body . .
You're right Dr. Bob. I guess I was looking at my self instead of with love involved. I guess it would be pretty hard to love others if you didn't love yourself.
[ January 19, 2003, 05:34 PM: Message edited by: TheOliveBranch ]
I think we pretty much already love ourselves,protect ourselves,feed and nourish ourselves,etc...we are to love others that way,also. There is not a thing biblical about promoting self esteem in my opinion...we should teach our children about their depravity and their need for a savior.Their thinking about themselves should be biblical,not what the world says we,or they need.
I agree with Molly, however I do want to add that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". (Psalm 139: 14) Teenage girls, for one, especially have huge issues of self esteem and self worth. They may need extra encouragement: that yes they are sinners and need a Saviour but they are also wonderfully made by God. Self Esteem can come from the Lord when it is viewed in the light that God created us wonderfully and in His image. The focas should not be on ME, but through the Lord, I am....
Looking at the biblical definition of "esteem", to esteem others is to put them first, before yourself. So it seems to me that self esteem is an impossibility, or an oxymoron. The two cannot be combined.
Love on the other hand is how we should feel about others. To love someone as yourself is to care about the needs and welfare of that other person as you would care for yourself.
So, love and self esteem are set apart, and where love should abound, self esteem should be quenched.
I think this assumes that people love themselves. These are not arguments to love self but rather to love others.
Nowhere in Scripture can I think of a place where self is to be made the object of one's own thoughts. Simply put, Why are you thinking of yourself anyway?
I am convinced the problem is not a lack of self-esteem--a low view of oneself but rather too high a view of oneself. Everyone is down on themselves because they think they deserve better -- that they are too good for the situation they find themselves in. The root of the self-esteem problems is that rather than thinking of God and others, we are a bunch of navel gazers concerned about ourself. The answer to the lack of self-esteem is stop thinking about yourself.
And to start thinking about God. If we have a right understanding of God and his purpose for creating us, our view of ourselves will fall in line.
My American Heritage Dictionary defines Esteem as:
1. To regard with respect; prize.
2. To regard as; consider.
1. Favorable regard.
2. Archaic. Judgment; opinion.
So to have self esteem....would mean to be considerate to ourself, or to respect ourself. And to esteem others over ourselves...means to be more considerate to others than we are to ourselves...and to respect others more than the respect we give ourselves.
So to encapsulate...we are to have self esteem...while esteeming others more.
I think where we get into trouble is when self esteem is considered a "don't" and we start to think that we should not respect or regard or consider ourselves....at all. And yet, each of us is the temple of the Holy Spirit. If we don't esteem the temple of the Holy Spirit...isn't that in itself disrespectful...to God?
[ January 23, 2003, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: WisdomSeeker ]
Well, since Genesis referrs to us as "very good" in God's creation, and since we're told that we are created in the "image and likeness" of God, and since Jesus tells us to love our neighbors "as ourselves", and since the Psalms tell us that we were made "a little lower than the angels", and "crowned with glory and honor".
I think non-boastful self-esteem, sense of value, and self-worth is not only called for, but biblically appropriate.
Sort of like patting yourself on the back and claiming, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant".
God made us in His image and declared us good, but that was when we were free from sin.
We are delared clean and crowned with glory and honor, but we were also told that all our deeds are as filthy rags. Love of self is not the love we are to show our neighbors. You are to esteem others higher than yourself. All the glory and honor should come from God, not yourself.
People with low self-esteem would never do that Olive. I agree with JohnV....I think the right kind of esteem is essential if we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Why are we thinking about ourselves anyway???? The Christian life is one driven by selflessness. When I am selfless, I am not thinkign about myself and self-esteem is not problem. Self-esteem only becomes a problem when I spend time thinking about me.
[ January 24, 2003, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
Would people with low self-esteem ever look at anyone else but themselves? Or could we be confusing low self-esteem with humility?
I want to know where the Bible ever talks about self-esteem, except in the negative, where the implication is to esteem others. We are told by the Bible to love our neighbors as ourselves. To love yourself is not self-esteem. If we say we have self-esteem, we are focusing on self, lifting ourself up. If we say we have love, we focus on others, lifting up the other.
I see the whole issue of self-esteem as being an agenda introduced by politically correct to take our eyes off of God's way to love others as yourself. With self involved, you have to look at yourself first before you can act on that love. With God's love, you give to others first then think of yourself.