19 Jan Why A Christian Shouldn’t Have Self Esteem Issues???
We live in a world which suffers from a dangerous disease of worshipping and glorifying the creation rather than the Creator. It praises people for their great and unique qualities instead of praising the God who created them and gave them those qualities.
In these days we also hear a lot of statements like “You are good as you are”; “You don’t need to change for anyone. Be yourself!”; “Believe in yourself” and the like, glorifying one’s own self and self worth instead of the Creator, who rightfully deserves all the glory.
The Dictionary defines “Self-esteem” as “confidence in one’s own self-worth”. The world’s understanding of this term is clearly seen in the statements mentioned above.
We Christians who are exiles in this world need not be affected by the self esteem as defined by the world we live in. In this context, let us look at what the Bible says about us.
1. We are created in the image of God. (Gen 1:26, 27)
2. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, as we are, by our Creator who has knit together each and every part of our body to the detail. (Psalm 139:13, 14)
This implies we owe our existence and our life to our Creator and He should get all the glory. Not us! Then we may ask, “what about all the flaws we have?”
All these flaws are an after-effect of the ‘fall of man’ and they are directly due to our sin (John 5:14) or in some instances, God has ordained them to come through in order to be glorified through them (John 9:3 & John 11:4). Who are we to ask Him why He has made us like this?
Comfort in our flaws and weaknesses:
When we put faith in Jesus we acknowledge that,
1. We are sinners and are all flawed and imperfect in some way.
2. We are good for nothing without Him and His sacrificial death on the cross.
3. Our value, our worth is in nothing but the cross.
Now, let’s go a little deeper. After we were created, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and therefore, we all deserve death because of our sins. Yet God sacrificed His Son on the cross for our sins and raised Him from the grave so that we would live with Him forever. Hence, we owe our life, to God now more than ever and He should get all the glory.
We are made new when we have faith in Jesus. Then, we die to our old self and become more like Christ every day through Christ who lives in us. Now, our new identity comes from Christ who is at work in us through His Spirit. Our identity, our value, our worth comes from Christ alone and it is secured eternally.
That’s why Paul says in Gal 6:14 , “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. . .“. Also, Paul in his letter to the Philippians talks about the reasons why he could have confidence in himself (Phil 3:4-6). He mentions his background, status, qualifications among others but later he tells them that he considers everything as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ and considers them rubbish that he may gain Christ (Phil 3:8). When we go to God for forgiveness we wouldn’t go considering or showing ourselves as good or having any worth but we go to Him with a broken heart acknowledging that we are sinful and unworthy. By this, we renounce our sins, our confidence in ourselves and walk into the power of His grace.
Therefore, as Christians we ideally shouldn’t boast about ourselves but in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we do so, we will not have any self-esteem issues because our boasting is in the perfect blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross by which our sins are cleansed and we are made new in Christ.
Why do we have self-esteem issues then?
It’s because we attribute our value to whether we have or don’t have good looks, qualities, attributes, qualifications, wealth, status and the like which don’t have any eternal significance. By this, we lose sight of the cross and forget that our worth, our value, our identity comes from Christ alone and it is secured eternally. Then, what’s the solution?
The solution is – Daily Gospel Renewal. By this I mean, we ought to look at the cross everyday to remind ourselves of our position in Christ and be thankful for God’s love and His grace and acknowledge that our worth, our identity, our value comes from Him alone. When we do that, we learn to boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ everyday who is perfect through whom we are being made perfect. When we wholeheartedly embrace the truth of the gospel we will have radical replies to the lies of the world to boost our self-esteem.
When the world says, “You are good as you are”
We say, “I am no good without Christ.”
When it says, “You don’t need to change for anyone else. Be yourself! “
We say, “I am being transformed everyday into the likeness of Christ and I look at it as a privilege.”
When it says, “Believe in yourself.”
We say, “I believe in the goodness and faithfulness of God.”
Ultimately, when the world tells us to boast in our own self worth, we as Christians say, “We boast in nothing but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
When we take rest in supremacy and perfection of Jesus Christ into whose likeness we are being conformed into, we will have no insecurities or worries about our self worth because our worth and our identity do not come from ourselves or the things that we have but from Christ and it is eternally secured.
End of all self-esteem issues!
Aashish Finney J, finished his engineering from IIT Kharagpur and now preparing for competitive exams, involved in Central Delhi EGF.