Self esteemis what we think of ourselves. It is a sense of one's own dignity or worth. Self esteem originates within ourselves. Is it possible that any person saved or unsaved could truly appraise their true self esteem or worth? Is man capable of this? The heart of man is deceitful above all things... Jer. 17:9
Paul didn't dare do that, even as a servant of the Lord. 2Co 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Where is his self esteem?
2Co 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
Our true image as Christians is not what we are in ourselves, but what we are in Christ. There is nothing about what I am in Christ that originates with "self." I am what I am by the grace of God 1 Cor. 15:10
Do you believe some of the proponents of this dogma of self worth?
"Under the influence of humanistic psychologists like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, many of us Christians began to see our need for self love and self esteem." [Bruce Narramore You are someone special Page 22]
"The human being is a glorious, dignified creature of infinite worth." [You can learn to like yourself] Baker Books
"By creation, every human being is a unique person of great worth and dignity." [Radio Bible Class]
"It is as if Christ had said, 'You are of such worth to me that I am going to die; even experience hell so that you might be adopted as my brothers and sisters.” Kirwin Page 107
"Of course, the greatest demonstration of a person's worth to God was shown in giving us His Son." [Foster Page 6]
" Many Christian's self-esteem is terribly low. They somehow have not come to the place of seeing how precious they are to God. They even wonder how God could love such a person as themselves. They're amazed that God forgave their sins in the first place.
"Someone has said, “God would never have given His only begotten Son to die for junk." [Our Daily Bread Feb 26-1985]
"The fact that God gave His Son to die for you proves how eternally valuable you are." Jepson Page 85
"Man's intrinsic worth and significance as the image-bearer of God is magnified by the lengths to which God went to redeem him. [Death and the after life" [R. Morey Page 41]]
end if quotes
These few quotes gives us the mentality of Christian writers who promote humanistic self-esteem and self-love.
What does God say about man?
Ps 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
Ps 62:9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
Men of high or low self esteem are weighed in God's scales and are lighter than vanity. They weight less than nothing.
Isa 40:17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.
Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
Psm. 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Man apart from Christ is described by God in the verses above. There is nothing in man that adds anything to the self-sufficiency of God. He was complete before He ever made man, and could get along very well without him.
God loved man, not become of some intrinsic valve, but because He IS LOVE. Calvary does not magnify man, but displays His love.
God saves those that trust Him, not because they add anything to Him, but because He is merciful and gracious.
The "pearl of great price", was not in the pearl itself, but in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was rich and yet became poor. To put the worth in the pearl is to take it away from Him.
The thought that God needs us to complete His glory or satisfaction is to dethrone Him and set man on the throne instead.
We preach that the grace of God is unmerited. What place does grace have in the above quotes? Is salvation to the praise of the glory of His grace or is it to some intrinsic value of man?
To attach any worth to sinful man is to rob God of the glory of His love, mercy and grace. It is doing despite to the God of all grace.
The Bible warns us: Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Christ said, If any will come after me let him deny himself. Matt 16:24. It is the self life that is to be denied.
The first mentioned signs of the last days in 2 Tim 3:2 is "lovers of their own selves..."
Some thoughts for your consideration.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith