Self-Esteem

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

  1. gekko

    gekko
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    so what do you think?

    should we as christians be worried about self-esteem?
    should we have low self-esteem?
    high self-esteem?
    or get rid of the concept altogether?

    is self-esteem biblical? is there any scripture references to it or something like it?

    personally i think we should get rid of the concept altogether. i don't like it at all. but that's just me - is there anything about it in scripture?

    God bless!
     
  2. Amy.G

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    Isn't self-esteem just a form of pride?

    I see nowhere in scripture that we are to esteem ourselves, but we are love God and others. :)
     
  3. MrJim

    MrJim
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    "Low self-esteem" is what happens when ya compare yerself to someone else, decide you like them better, wish you were like them, and are bitter or melancholy because you don't get what you want:

    Suzy has low self-esteem because she has a big nose. She wants a nose like Ashley's. The she'd feel better about herself.

    Yeah, I think there's even a Commandment dealing with this issue.

    Psychology: Man's attempt to explain human behavior in general disregard to the Creator.
     
  4. ktn4eg

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    Once again I find myself agreeing (or at least in part) with Amy G.! :wavey:

    In one of the few places that the word "esteem" appears in the KJV (in its verb form) we find God's Word telling us to, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than ourselves." (Philippians 2:3 -- emphasis mine)

    While there is a sense in which people, because we are created in God's image, do have intrinsic worth and value to God, i.e., we were/are important enough to Him to have His Son die for us and intercede on our behalf, our problem is that our fallen nature tends to so often attribute to ourselves that which rightly only belongs to God.

    Some people see in "the second greatest commandment" to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18 cf. Matt. 19:19, 22:39; Mk. 12:31, 33; and Lk. 10:27) the implication that we are therefore to "love" ourselves too.

    While I'm not going to argue their assertion, nor do I see any teaching that tells us to beat ourselves up or to stay on a continual guilt trip, we do need to exercise great caution lest we find ourselves doing what Paul in Romans 12:3 warns us not to do: "think[ing] of himself more highly than he ought to think."

    We must, with God's help and by His grace, strive to maintain a healthy and scriptural balance in this area. :praying:

    May God Bless y'all!
     
  5. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Self-esteem is a form of idolatry, and I think it can be shown that most (if not all) idolatry is rooted in self-esteem.
     
  6. rbell

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    If I hear the phrase "self-esteem" and take it to mean "how we view ourselves," then I would say "high or low?" is not the right question.

    How should we see ourselves? How about as God sees us...

    On the one hand...we are sinful beings, unworthy and deserving of judgement.

    On the other, we have been redeemed by Christ and clothed with His righteousness.

    If we see ourselves (key word here) accurately, then...
    • Teenagers who are struggling because of physical imperfections might be able to see God's greater purpose in how they were created.
    • We spend less time asking God, "Why did you make me like this?" and comparing ourselves unfairly to others, and spend more time asking God to use us to accomplish His will for us, not our will for us.
    • We won't gloss over our sins as something that's just "a sickness I can't help" or "just who I am;" instead, we will be troubled and convicted by said sins.
    • On the other side of things, we will be thankful for our talents and strengths--not boasting in ourselves, but in the Giver of those blessings.
    James 1:22-25 is pertinent to the discussion, IMO...
     
  7. gekko

    gekko
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    wow. some pretty good points there.
    -----

    haha. i can see how people get that implication... but it's so wrong.
    i think what that verse is saying is -- we are so selfish. love our neighbors as much as you are selfish (i think that's worded completely wrong... )

    umm. what i was trying to say was -- we love ourselves so much that we don't focus on anybody else... and that verse i believe is talking about the opposite -- love our neighbors so much so that we don't focus on ourselves.

    if that makes sense?
    or am i totally off.

    God bless!
     
  8. Eric B

    Eric B
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    http://members.aol.com/etb700/psychology.html

    The concepts of self-love and self-esteem have been greatly misunderstood; and on both sides. When critics of psychology think of "self" love or esteem, they think of a negative, sinful sense, in which you put yourself before others and think you are "good", even to the extent of thinking you are better than others and perhaps not even a sinner. This is what they condemn when they criticize Christian psychology. But even though many secular people may act like this in practice, this is not what these psychological concepts mean. What they mean is a sense of worth. The Fundamentalist psychology critics emphasize that rather than "feeling good about ourselves", we should "hold up the mirror of God's Word and graphically reveal to man what he really looks like in the sight of a holy God...his exceeding sinfulness and lost condition" as BDM puts it. True, except that we are talking about Christians here. They are already declared righteous through the blood of Christ, so why should they keep thinking of themselves as "unholy sinners"? But the whole irony of this is that these psychology critics themselves do not seem to be walking around thinking that they are no good and worthless. [that's basically what "low self-esteem" is!] And they definitely do not seem to think of themselves as sinners anymore, or even admit that they could be in error. Far from it. There is very little humility in these ministries that spend all of this time denouncing just about every single leader in the evangelical Church as "false teachers". Many of these fundamentalist leaders thus do have high "esteem" of themselves (even though they wouldn't call it this, of course)! Do they not take pride in their ministry (their "service to the Lord"), advocating "excellence" in our profession (and their appearance; it's been pointed out how fine the suits they wear are) and believe that what they are teaching is right? Isn't it like the attitude in very scriptures they often use, such as "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13), and that "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37)? This is all psychologists call self esteem, (even though many would say that Christ is just a "crutch", or just [SIZE=-1]A[/SIZE] way to tap the power within, etc). If the "Biblical Counseling" advocates, Psychoheresy hunters or BDM leaders, etc. were counseling someone and the counselee kept saying "I can't overcome this sin!", "I can't do anything for Christ!", "I'm no good for Christ", or kept denying who they are in Christ despite what the scriptures say, would the counselor accept this? Would they see it is "true humility" even? Of course not! So, it seems a lot of this issue regarding esteem is semantic.

    On the other hand, many contemporary Christians also get the concepts mixed up. Even though I am clarifying the true meaning of "self worth" against the mistaken claims of psychology critics; I am not justifying the emphasis some have put on it, where it has a prominent place in "Christian growth". I actually agree with the critics here, to some point. Much of it is what is called "pop" psychology, as opposed to just plain psychology. I know of brethren who will adamantly insist that "Matthew 22:39 teaches" that you must "love yourself" before you can "love others". (And this is almost a cliché among liberals and even non-Christians!) So it's like you have to embark on this growth process toward self-love in order to even be able to obey the scriptural command. But we're reading a MODERN psychological concept into an ancient text. What is meant by "loving yourself" here is the assumption that a person automatically "loves himself" in the natural selfish way. The context justifies this, because Jesus is referring to something that the average person already has, not something one must 'develop'. In this vein, Ephesians 5:28, 29 says "he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh..." Here once again, the idea is to love an "other" (your wife) as you [naturally] love yourself. (Behind this, is the teaching of other scriptures that she is "your flesh").

    So the psychology critics rightly oppose such bending of scriptural meaning. Self image is neither the starting point, nor the goal of Christian living. The goal of the Christian life is for God to shape our lives for His glory, and as we mature, we will more be more able to truly love others, and our view of ourselves will be in its right (and healthy) perspective: sinners, yet redeemed.
     
  9. DQuixote

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    There is an OCEAN of difference between psychology and the love of God through Jesus Christ, centered spiritually in the Christian life and walk.

    Ne'er the twain shall meet.
     
  10. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Is anybody familiar with the Doctrine of Glorification?

    SOF for the BB (Baptist Board):

    Paragraph IV. Slavation:

    Romans 9:23 (KJV1611 Edition):
    And that he might make knowen the riches of his glory
    on the vessels of mercy, which hee had afore prepared vnto glorie?
    24
    Euen vs whom hee hath called,
    not of the Iewes onely, but also of the Gentiles.

    But I shall glory not in mine own, but in Christ.
     
    #10 Ed Edwards, May 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2007
  11. Tom Butler

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    Jesus himself understood human nature better than we do. That's why he told us to "love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself."

    Love your neighbor just like your love yourself, he said.

    Here's what Dave Hunt said:
    No one hates himself but he may hate his appearance or circumstances or lack of ability. The very fact that we dislike our appearance of lament our inability or become upset when people or circumstances abuse us is proof that we esteem and love ourselves; for if we did not esteem ourselves, we would not care. And if we hated ourselves we would be glad when things go against us. -Seduction of Christianity.
     

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