Last Sunday I began a short series of sermons on Self Esteem. Self esteem has to do with a sense of self worth, and it's a part of the human psyche that affects every area of our lives, including our spiritual lives. First, we'll look at the very concept of self esteem and consider why we ought to have a sense of self worth. Then we'll establish what is the best source for good self esteem. We'll conclude by examining some Bible examples of people who found the right source for self esteem and thereby changed their lives for the better.
Everyone has an opinion of himself, whether he realizes it or not. Each of us is constantly evaluating himself, often without realizing what we're doing. We look at ourselves in the mirror and notice the fresh wrinkle, the new puffiness under the eyes, and where'd that zit come from!? We detect the hairline receding just a little - gotta' get a different hairbrush! We feel the little tightness in the belt, the extra snugness in the fit of the shirt - probably the washing machine! We notice the new aches after physical exertion. We value ourselves based upon our personal observations and whatever comments we might receive from others.
But it's not just physical appearance that we evaluate in developing self esteem. We also judge the way we speak in public. Do we speak in a fluid fashion, or do we stumble over pronunciation and at choosing the right words in conversations with others? Do we perceive that other people think we're OK, or do we think they see us as geeks, or worse? Do we feel reasonably confident in our abilities, or do we feel inept? Do we feel good about our position in life, our job, what we're accomplishing, or do we feel like chewing gum on the sole of other people's shoes?
There are also behavior traits, personal habits, things we do, places we go, the kind of people we run with that also play into our ultimate evaluation of ourselves. What we determine to be our self worth equates to our self esteem.
We tend to look in all the wrong places for a determination of our self worth. Ultimately, our self esteem should have little to do with our physical appearance, our sophistication, our job, our social standing or what others think of us. The only real basis for our self esteem should be what God thinks of us. He created us in His image. He loved us enough to send His Son to die on the cross to give us the opportunity to be counted good! But the only way that we can be really good, is for us to be "in Christ" (Rom. 8:1). If we have our lives right with our Lord and Savior, if we're living in line with His teachings, then we can feel good about ourselves.
If a person dies wealthy, a recognized scholar, a linguist, a social giant, the head of a huge successful corporation, but he was not in a faithful and dedicated relationship with the Savior, he dies a failure. As far as his personal eternal outlook is concerned, his life was a waste, and he was spiritually worthless! On the other hand, if a person dies destitute of material means, an outcast of society, shunned by his fellow man, but lived in full harmony with his Lord, he is the ultimate success. He accomplished something truly worthwhile in his life, and he is counted good by God because of his relationship with Christ.
Now, on what are you focusing in determining your personal self worth?...
Gary L. Hutchens