Low self-esteem seems to be an issue today. But can anyone truly have high self-esteem?
If you think about it, no. My “self” is the problem because I know that I’m sinful. We confess regularly that we are “by nature sinful” and ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness. God asks us to look outside of ourselves to him in order to find our value and self-esteem. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). God points us away from ourselves to what he says about us because of what he has done for us. You are the righteousness of God! You stand before God, holy and blameless. And that’s just one passage!
Your status before God
In so many doctrines of Scripture, God loves to assure us of our status before him. In the following passages, pick out at least one important point about your God-given status and what it means for your life.
- Luke 22:19
- Ephesians 1:22
- Romans 5:1
- Ephesians 5:25
- Romans 8:15
- 1 Peter 1:18
- Galatians 3:26
The difference between status and role
Too often we confuse who we are with what we do. How many of these things would help your esteem?
- Getting a promotion at work.
- Hearing your spouse compliment your appearance.
- Winning the state championship.
- Graduating college or getting your master’s degree.
- Getting criticized unfairly.
How many boxes did you check? Most of these events would be a cause for you to celebrate. Yet how many of those things help your esteem? None of them! You remain the same person after them as you were before. They may affect your roles in life, but properly understood, none of those things change you. You remain valuable to a God who loves you and made you his dear child; your roles do not change that.
As a dearly loved child of God, you do need opportunities for meaningful service, but your number one need is to have a good relationship with God. That relationship deals with your status and ought to be the focus for proper esteem.
Fill in as many items as you can in the categories below. You may go back and refer to the previous passages.
MY STATUS (who I am before God):
MY ROLES (what I do in my life):
Remember that the items in the “status” category cannot change, but the items in the “roles” category can change in an instant. That is why we do not want our esteem wrapped up in a career, a house, the kids, or a spouse. Instead, focus on the objective truths of God’s Word. Those truths cannot change. Rejoice in your status!
Author: David Scharf
Volume 109, Number 10
Issue: October 2022