Because of the seriousness of this false teaching I do not hesitate to add more material. Read this carefully, as it is not speaking of natural worth in doing secular duties.
Consider the following:
I am sure you will agree that the Bible is our guide and not the wisdom of man. Let us consider some great men of God as to what they thought about themselves.
God said that Moses was the meekest man on earth in his day. Num. 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Here is the word translated "meek in the O.T. by Strong, [AV-meek 13, humble 5, poor 5, lowly 2, vr meek 1; 26] Considering these words some preachers of today would say he need a healthy dose of self esteem.
Moses's life was in three periods of 40 years.
Acts 7:23 And when he was full forty years old, it came
heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
Acts 7:30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinn an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.
Acts 7:36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
The first 40 years he spent learning all the wisdom of Egypt and
thought he was some might man in slaying and Egyptian to be ruler
people. God took him on the back side of the dessert for forty years to take the self esteem out of Him.
He was so deflated after that that he gave excuses for why he could not lead the people out of Egypt. In Exodus he started by telling God, Exod.. 3:11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
Next, What shall I say? V.13 Next 4:1, Behold, they will not believe me.." 4:10, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. If the proponents of the self esteem gospel read this they would surely mark Moses down with a terrible deficiency self esteem. Don't you think it is strange that God didn't think this way also of Moses? Instead, to Him, this is the man I want as my shepherd and leader of my people. A man that had no confidence in himself, but has to depend totally on, ".... the ability that God giveth" 1 Peter 4:11 Moses realized his inability when he later said, Exod. 33:13--15 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
Moses goes on the honour roll in Heb 11:, not because he had a high self esteem, but because he esteemed the riches of Christ and the recompense of the reward Heb 11:23...
Isaiah was one of the major prophets and is spoken of much in the Bible. When he came into the presence of God, in Isa. 6:1.... he cried, "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips:" What happen Isaiah to your self esteem? Here you are saying that others are the same also. Wow! if Schuller and some others were around they would straighten you out with some secular humanistic psychotherapy they got from Maslow, Carl Jung and others.
This was the man that God used. He was willing to deny self and depended on the touch of God to fulfill faithfully one of the most difficult ministries in the Bible.
Want some more?
Job was a good man. God said so, in Job 1:8. God said he was perfect, upright, feared God and hated evil. I don't believe he had a big ego and was full of self esteem. God would have never said that about him. I do believe he developed a bit because he defended himself against the judgments of his three friends. I believe he used the phrase "I am" 26 times in the book. In his defense of self he said, "I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me. 33:9 His self esteem seemed to be so high that his friends saw it, and said that he said. For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment. 34:5
God takes three chapters 38-40 to deflated Job. When He got
through job said, "Behold, I am vile," 40:4 The word
vile meaning, I
acceptable. It was after this that God blessed him with twice as much as he had before. Job 42:
Highminded Peter, was going to go to prison and death with the Lord. Jesus told him that Satan want to sift some of the chaff out of him. Luke 22: 31 -34 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. He did, because Peter fell flat on his face and even denied the Lord. Once the old Simon [self esteem] got out of Peter, God used him mightily only a few days after. Acts 2:11......
Ga 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Phil. 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
2 Cor. 3:5 , 6 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to
think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of
God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new
testament; not of the letter, but of the
spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith