Author: Ron Graham
The importance of self esteem is taught clearly in the Bible. An unfruitful life can result from low self esteem. A poor self image makes a poor servant of God.
One should "not think of himself more highly than he ought to think", but a right regard and a sound judgment of oneself should be held in one’s heart.
Low self esteem is not humility. Pride, the opposite of humility, is thinking more highly of yourself than you should (Romans 12:3). But humility is not thinking less highly of yourself than you should. If you think less of yourself than you should, it is manifest that your self image is false. When God says, "clothe yourself with humility" (1Peter 5:5), surely he doesn't want you to wrap yourself in a false self image!
Moses did not have a proper regard himself. Moses thought too little of himself, simply because he didn't listen to God. God had told Moses, "I am. sending you to bring my people out of Egypt" That word of God to Moses, showed God's high regard for Moses. That word was the true standard by which Moses ought to have measured himself.
The low regard which Moses held for himself, almost stopped him serving God as Israel's leader. 'Who am I, that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?", he complained. "What if they will not listen to me? I have never been a man of words; I am slow of speech" (Exodus 3:1-11, Ephesians 4:1-17).
God was angry with Moses because of this. Moses should have shown as much faith in himself as God had shown in him,
We regard ourselves correctly, when we do so "according to the measure that God's measuring rod has allotted to us" (2Corinthians 10:13).
Using the wrong measuring rod for self-assessment, will give you a false regard for yourself. If, for example, you measure yourself by comparing yourself to other people, you are using the wrong measure. "Measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, they are not wise" (2Corinthians 10:12).
What then is the correct measure of self esteem? How can you avoid thinking too much or too little of yourself? How can you have a true self image? You have to use the right standard, namely "the measure of faith God has given you" (Romans 12:3).
Okay, but what is meant by "measure of faith"? Faith is the product of God’s word (Romans 10:17). The measure of faith is what God’s word says about you. Take your true measure. Listen to what God thinks of you, and throw out the faulty measures of this world. You should have as much faith in yourself as God has shown in you.
That makes an understatement of one of my favourite quips: "You must be worth something, God don't make junk!"
Preached at Ochanomizu Church of Christ Tokyo (English Room) Sep 2008
1. God is pleased when you see yourself in what way? (A) As a dope, (B) As a worm, (C) As God sees you, (D) As the greatest.
2. What is the proper measuring rod for self-assessment? (A) Other people, (B) Your inner self, (C) God’s measuring rod, (D) The goals you set yourself.
3. Who displeased God because he did not esteem himself highly enough? (A) Moses, (B) Paul, (C) Satan, (D) Elijah.
4. What honour does God wish to bestow on you? (A) Anoint and seal you as his heir, (B) Make you the world’s greatest, (C) None. You are a nobody.