There are certain people in this world that have come to believe that they are completely useless. They have come to believe this for many various reasons. They believe they are only useful to be punching bags for others, to be rugs for others and that they could never be worthy to even breathe air much less to be of use for anything other than to cook, clean and introduce new life into this world they see as dark, hopeless, grungy place.
These people believe what the world tells them and that is they are ugly. They believe what those around them tell them and that is they are useless. They do not believe what God tells them. I know, because I used to be like this.
One thing I have learned during my years with my Beloved Lord God and that is there is No Faith where there is no Hope. The two are so entwined and bonded together that it is impossible to have one without the other. And the third cord in the unbreakable heavenly rope is Love. With Faith and Hope comes Love. First the Godly Love that He pours into our hearts so that we can at least lift our face up to Him. Then comes the Faith and the Hope that Life isn't hopeless, and ashes are turned to beauty in the eyes of the Lord.
When you teach that selfishness and Ego and the Flesh is the same as Self-Esteem, you are removing Hope, which takes away Faith, and that takes away the capacity to recognize God's Love.
We love God because He created us with a huge God-sized hole within our hearts that only He can fill, but we can only recognize something that Spiritual because He created us with a self-esteem that requires self-preservation almost at all costs.
Most people equate self-esteem with selfishness, old nature, flesh, pride etc.
It is a God-created characteristic and is necessary for us to be able to recognize God's love. In other words, God created it on purpose.
I think, perhaps, to separate self-image from self-esteem is a good thing. I do not think they are the same thing at all. As a friend of mine has stated, self-image is how one sees one’s self. Self-esteem is how one regards one's self or rather how one values one's self.
Alone, we have a zero value on the surface.
However, God valued us enough to send His Son to die for us. So what was it that made us worthy in God's sight to pay this high cost?
It certainly wasn't anything we did for while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. It wasn't that our physical bodies were so valuable because we return to dust. It had to be the fact He created us for His good pleasure, and that He created the soul eternal for His good pleasure and glory.
Just as we are merely sojourners in this world and there are two ways to look at things. 1. Worldly Way and 2. God's way. Self-esteem has two meanings. 1. Worldly and 2. Spiritual.
We are worthy/valuable because God created us and we are worthy because Jesus paid for us. There is a sanctity of life that can't be argued against. We esteem God and the Holy Spirit lives within us so therrfore we esteem ourselves--value our self--because God resides within and for no other reason. That should be from our point of view.
Satan and this world walk hand in hand when it comes to tearing down the Christian's value system. We look at the world system and think we need to be skinny and have washboard stomachs, and rippling muscles and then we'll be happy. We look at God's system and realize this body is only temporary therefore useful for a pin-prick of time compared to eternity.
However... Satan says we are ugly and points to famous models. Satan says we are not worth a plug nickel and points to Donald Trump or Bill Gates or Joseph Bloweth down the street all who have the appearance of being the happiest people on earth with a multitude of material things spread out before them like a Baptist Dinner On the Grounds Picnic. Satan tries to twist the Spiritual value system into a worldly standard and tries to make us compare ourselves against the other imperfect humans of this world. And we can always find someone who is "prettier", has more money, has a better sense of humor, is kinder, has a better singing voice, can play the piano...
This is where we fall so short because our self-image, and seemingly, our self-esteem has a measuring stick of other humans who are sinners and who make mistakes just like we do. What kind of plumbline is that? It isn't even a plumbline because it is crooked and out of balance because the place of measuring is not perfect.
And this is the danger. We start believing what others say about us -- matters not whether it is bad or good. And that is a value system based on the world.
When we measure ourselves with the Perfect Measuring Stick... the Perfect Life, then we see how far short we really are. But in this scenario, it doesn't matter how unworthy we are because of our deeds. All fall short of the glory of God!
The glorious thing is, what truly matters is that God considers us worthy. God considers us acceptable -- warts and all.
Suddenly, life is so simple. Life is so restful. Life has purpose. Peace, Joy, Goodness, Love, Self-Control not only permeates our life... but, become a Lifestyle. Self-esteem is in the proper perspective viewed through God's eyes because the Blood of Jesus makes us righteous, whole, perfect.
We love Him because He first loved us and the only way we can possibly understand that love is because He created us capable of going beyond Ego and reaching for completeness in our Lord God Almighty. That love is far above the love a human by himself can love. The God-sized hole we were born with is finally filled with the God of love who explains and expands our puny, human capacity for love. That is the only way we can finally let go and let God. Finally, we understand why we can trust He has all things under control and works all things to good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Our bodies do not belong to us. We would never house sit for someone and while they were on vacation repaint the house a neon pink and replace all the furniture with concrete blocks... Therefore, by the same token, we should care for our bodies and our selves as lovingly as the Owner of our bodies would. We just have temporary custody. Our bodies are God's Temple. Therefore, Godly-esteem is eternal, and is both external and internal because we are spiritually New Creations.
Therefore when we consider self-esteem, we must first consider which level we are on. Level one is the world and Level two is Spiritual. We belong to the Spiritual plane because we are New Creations.
The very fact the Bible mentions Loving Yourself, is proof that God understands how Satan works beating us up with the worldly ideas. It is entirely likely that a person not well-grounded in Scripture could easily believe himself worthless and commit suicide. It happens all the time.
Absolutely we have external esteem. But we also have self-esteem. We must look at ourselves through the Owner's eyes not through worldly eyes.
'Refreshment in Refuge' Copyright 2019 © Gina Burgess. 'Refreshment in Refuge' articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each story, along with their complete bio and a link to https://www.liveasif.org/ 2) 'Refreshment in Refuge' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.
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