Many people, including Christians, struggle with self-esteem. Christian teaching regarding spirituality can often times lead people to believe that it is not spiritual to think too highly of themselves, yet one of Christ's two Great Commandments is to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Bible has much to say about this subject. I am going to break it down into small segments.
First, we must realize that God loves each and everyone of us. We are precious enough that Jesus died on a cross for us. We should view ourselves as God sees us. (John 3:16)
In contrast to this is our sin nature. We are helpless. (Romans 5:6) We stumble in many ways. (James 3:2) We all must acknowledge our weaknesses. (II Corinthians 12:5, 7-10) We are all vulnerable to Satan's tactics. (I Peter 5:8)
So, we must see ourselves as lovable by God but also as helpless, weak, and stumbling sinners.
Proper self-esteem will be evident in our attitudes and actions toward ourselves. In Romans 12:3 each of us is told "not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to." What is interesting about this verse is that it does not say that you should not think highly of yourself, just do not think TOO highly. Later in this chapter it says, "do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation." (verse 16) People with proper self-esteem will not be bostful and arrogant. (I Corinthians 13:4)
Biblical self-esteem will have a godly attitude toward others. Loving our neighbors as ourselves, one of Christ's two Great Commandments, implies having a healthy self-love.
This will be reflected in humility and high regard for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-5 and I Peter 5:5-6) Furthermore, we will accept people of less social standing than our own. (James 2:1-9) Most importantly, is Christ's example portrayed in Philippians 2:6-8, when He stripped Himself of heavenly glory to become the servant of mankind, and then at the Last Supper when He washed the feet of the disciples.
With all of this said, we are each a person of value, to be used by God in His Kingdom. We each have a spiritual gift given by the Holy Spirit. God expects us to employ it. Step forward with confidence. Do not hold back by thinking too little of yourself.
Biblical self-esteem can be summarized by humility balanced with a healthy self-love. By a helpless sin nature, but which by God's grace is still useful to Him. By regarding others as God sees them, but not thinking too lowly of ourselves.
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