A Christian Counselor’s Thoughts
Self-esteem is essential to living a productive and fulfilling life. However, knowing how to utilize self-esteem well can be complicated by those who seem to have or display too much of it. It takes proper self-esteem to push forward through adversity and to motivate positive behaviors. With insufficient self-esteem, one will not be able to believe in oneself or have enough reason to push forward when trials and difficulties come. Many people suffer from low self-esteem and this can be due to a number of different factors. One thing that we know about low self-esteem is that it is closely linked to a number of negative outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, stress, hostility, alcohol and drug abuse, poor communication, dependency, and social difficulties.
So, how can a person see their true worth through God’s eyes rather than through the eyes of the world? This article is the first in a two-part series in which I explore how Christian counseling can help to improve your self-esteem. In this article, I explain what the Bible says about self-esteem and self-worth, and in the following article I outline three specific ways in which a Christian counselor can help you to improve your self-esteem.
We Are Valuable in God’s Sight
If it were possible to bottle self-esteem and give to people, the world would be a much healthier place. However, because self-esteem is so elusive and difficult to build in adults, any attempts to properly build self-esteem need to be built on a firm foundation. So, what does the Bible say about self-esteem? The Bible actually has a number of passages that provide us with insights into our worth and our value in God’s eyes. In Genesis 1:27, the Bible tells us that we are made in God’s image. Psalm 139:14 states that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. In Ephesians 1:4, Paul tells us that we were chosen before the foundation of the world.
Our Worth is Given to Us by God
One thing to note about these passages is the way they all explain that God did these things for us. We did not do any of this for ourselves. Genesis tells us that we “are made,” Psalms says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and Ephesians tells us that “He [God] chose us.” We have done none of this for ourselves, but are rather the recipients of God’s work and love. We can therefore conclude that our self-esteem and our worth are not really of the “self” at all. Instead, our worth is something given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him and this truth is made even clearer when we consider the price He paid to make us worthy – the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.
Christ Sacrificed His Life for Us
In Romans 5:8, Paul tells us that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God gave His righteousness to us, not because we were worthy of it, but because we were unworthy, unlovable, and unable to make ourselves worthy in any way. John 3:16 says that God actually loved us in spite of our condition of being unworthy. And because He did, we now have infinite worth.
When we learn to focus more on how much God loves us, and the price He paid to redeem us, we will begin to see ourselves as God sees us, and that will help us understand just how much we are worth. Our self-esteem is too often based on what other people tell us about ourselves. However, the one, true authority on our self-worth is Jesus Christ, and since He sacrificed His own life for us by dying on a cross, that should tell us just how valuable we really are.
Christian Counseling to Build Self-Esteem
If you are having doubts about God’s love for you or if you question your worth, you may be suffering from low self-esteem. If understanding what the Bible says about your worth has piqued your interest, my next article will lay out three specific ways in which Christian counseling can improve your self-esteem. I would be honored to help you realize your worth and see yourself through the lenses of the Bible.
“Day of Inspiration” by Amri HMS, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY 2.0); “Peacock, DSC02916-FAV-MF.jpg,” courtesy of NovemberRaindrop, morguefile.com