DEFINITION: Self-esteem is confidence in your own merit as a person, the quality of feeling worthy of esteem or respect by yourself and others. It is how you honestly feel about your abilities and limitations. Low self-esteem is when you feel unworthy, alienated, and incompetent.
FACTS ABOUT SELF-ESTEEM:
There is a difference between self-esteem and Christ-centered esteem. It is not who you are, but who He is and what He has done in your life. “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18). Apart from Christ, you can do nothing and are nothing (John 15:5).
Low self-esteem makes you believe you are incompetent at everything, that you are loser, a failure, you will never amount to anything, and you don’t fit in. Because of these feelings, you may withdraw from others and find it difficult to establish meaningful relationships.
Many low self-esteem issues result from verbal abuse by parents, spouses, or friends who speak negative things into your life.
Biblical self-esteem is not pride. It is acknowledging who you are in Christ Jesus and giving Him glory for anything and everything you achieve in life.
DEALING WITH SELF-ESTEEM:
Do not compare yourself to others: This often causes self-esteem issues. The Bible says: “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12). Do not try to be like someone else. Do not criticize yourself for not being as beautiful, popular, or smart as others.
Do not focus on yourself, focus on Him. It is not who you are, but who He is in you. When you focus on the great power of God that is resident within you, your self-esteem issues will vanish (2 Corinthians 10:17-18). Realize that apart from God, you are nothing and can do nothing (John 15:5).
Accept yourself as a product of God’s grace. the Apostle Paul said: “But by the grace of God I am what I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10). He knew it was not about him, rather it was about God’s grace manifested in and through him. Paul had a weakness that he asked God to remove, but his request was denied three times. He learned to accept his weaknesses and even glory in them because it provided an opportunity for God’s strength to be manifested (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).
Focus on your successes instead of your failures. God has given you all you need to be successful. He has given you His power, His love, and a sound mind: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV). God has guaranteed success to those who walk in the ways of the Lord (Psalm 1).
Acknowledge who you are in God. You are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:16-17). The very hairs of your head are numbered (Luke 12:7). You are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). He made you as you are (Exodus 3:11). When you put yourself down, you are putting down the workmanship of God. God thinks so highly of you that He not only created you in the womb, but He planned all the days of your life (Psalm 139:13-18).
Reprogram your mind with God’s Word. Low self-esteem feeds on negative thoughts. Reprogram your mind with the Word of God and what God says about you and your thinking will be transformed. The book of Ephesians is a good place to start.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT SELF-ESTEEM:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:16-17)
But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:3-5)
I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” (Psalm 16:2)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. (Psalm 139:13-18)
Rich and poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all. (Proverbs 22:2)
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…(Jeremiah 1:5)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
The very hairs of your head are numbered. (Luke 12:7)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:2-3)
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
But by the grace of God I am what I am…(1 Corinthians 15:10)
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)
And just as we have born the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:49)
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:17-18)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:3-8)
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV).
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9, NKJV)
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. (1 John 4:17)
And we are in him who is true – even in his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 5:20)
Study the stories of Moses (Exodus 3); Gideon (Judges 6); and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1). These men all felt unworthy of the tasks to which God had called them. God emphasized that it was not who they were that was important, but who they would become with God working in and through them.