How should a Christian view self-esteem?



Question: "How should a Christian view self-esteem?"

Answer:
Many define self-esteem as feelings of worth based on their skills, accomplishments, status, financial resources, or appearance. This kind of “self-esteem” leads a person to feel independent and prideful, and indulge in self-worship, which dulls our desire for God. James 4:6 tells us that “God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.” If we only trust in our earthly resources, we will inevitably be left with a sense of worthiness based on pride. Jesus told us, “when you obey me you should say, 'We are not worthy of praise. We are servants who have simply done our duty'” (Luke 17:10).

This does not mean that Christians should have low self-esteem. It only means that our sense of being a good person should not depend on what we do, even if we are working for God. We need to humble ourselves before Him, and He will honor us. Psalm 16:2 reminds us, “You are my Master! All good things I have are from you.” Christians should attain self-worth and esteem by having a right relationship with God. We can know we are valuable because of the high price God paid for us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us that God values us enough to purchase us to be His own people (Ephesians 1:14). Because of this, only He is worthy of honor and praise. When we have healthy self-esteem, we will value ourselves enough to not become involved in enslaving sin. Instead, we should conduct ourselves with humility, thinking of others as better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Romans 12:3 warns, “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.”

Recommended Resource: The Biblical View of Self-Esteem by Jay Adams.


Related Topics:

What does the Bible say about fear?

What does the Bible say about self-love, loving self?

What does the Bible say about self-worth?

Why should I not commit suicide?

What does the Bible say about depression?



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How should a Christian view self-esteem?