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Self Esteem Issues - What To Do about Them
by Pastor Bobby Keating
7/26/2008 / Self Help
Modern day Biblical teaching and theological discussions are at the root of many inferiority and self-concept problems. We, as Christians, have been taught and thus continue to teach, Biblical concepts that are at best misconceptions. We have been taught to beat ourselves up and to beat each other up in the name of Christian Love.
I find that, in The Holy Bible, there are more instances of exhortation and support than of condemnation (self or brotherly). The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans reminds us "there is no condemnation in Christ". (Tell that to Mr. and Mrs. Tonguewagger, who are on the ready to point out every minute flaw in their Christian Brother or sister)
Some of the reasons for low self-esteem
In individual's life, there can be many contributing factors to situations of low self-esteem. We will discuss a few of those here.
One of the major causes and the most disappointing cause is Faulty Theology. Often we are taught by respected religious leaders that all human beings are worthless and, because of sin, insignificant in the eyes of God, and that our only hope for humbleness is to condemn ourselves and deny ourselves the gifts and abilities that God has given to each of His children. We learn that even to think about success and prosperity is a wretched sin. We are taught that we should have a self-image of lowliness and inferiority if we are to be committed Christians.
We are taught the one-sided theology of self-denial and self-debasement. We are not taught that we deny ourselves in order for Christ to be glorified. We put aside our 'selfish' desires and ambitions so that we can use (not deny) the gifts of the Father. When we are made new creatures, God endows each of us with talents and abilities that He desires for us to use to further His Kingdom. When we hold our relationship with God to be the focus of our lives, we then fill ourselves with Him and the gifts that He wants for us. We are not taught that by 'giving up' selfish desires we are given selfless abilities. As we exercise these talents and abilities for God's Glory, He rewards us stewardship of His wealth. Review the parable of the three servants and the talents given them by the Master. The one who denied himself the talent given, lost it and was rebuked. (Oh well, there goes that theological treatise.). The One who used the talents given him to the best of his ability was given what? He not only was given the talents of the humble self denying servant but was made to be a steward over much. Where does the 'self denial' theology fit into this example that was presented to the disciples by none other than Jesus Christ?
What about Sin and Guilt? God has, in His Holy Word, given us a standard by which we are to live. When we break a law (sin), we immediately begin to feel guilty and start beating ourselves up and condemning ourselves. Why are Christians taught that, because of sin, God gave us redemption and forgiveness through the Cross of Jesus Christ. That means that we are to be forgive and we are to forgive ourselves as well. (Not without remorse and not without true repentance). We are not instructed to tie ourselves to the whipping post. We are taught to answer the conviction of the Holy Spirit and to ask for forgiveness while promising to turn away from that sin.
Life experiences are a contributing factor to our self-image. This is good and bad. We, as humans, draw from our past experience, either consciously or subconsciously. In a society that evaluates success as the amount of wealth or material substance a person acquires, failure, rejection, and criticism are very hard pills to swallow. Rather than re-evaluate the meaning of success, it's easier to condemn ourselves. Sometimes it's easier to make excuses that to deal with situations. If we profess failure to be our best quality, we will always fail and others will not expect much more from us.
However, if we look at ourselves as winners, we will be winners (not by chance but by device). Born again Christians can come up with thousands of reasons for not putting forth the effort for what they perceive to be the path to success. "Well, if the Lord wanted me to have so and so, he would have given it to me". "Well, God is just testing me." "Well, God knows that the more I have the more I'll want. He provides me with just enough to get by." etc., etc.
This attitude is a deep-rooted attempt by 'church leaders' from the early organized 'church' to keep believers in check and under their control.
Sometimes we fail, not because we have first tried but because we know that others expect us to fail and it's easier just to comply. You must remember that you are a special creation of the Creator of The Universe. You are loved and possess talents and abilities that far exceed your own expectations. If you truly desire to understand who you are and what you have going for you, read and study and meditate on the Holy Wisdom of God. Become a diligent student of God's Word.
Pastor Bobby Keating is an Evangelist, author, teacher, success coach, and Director of The Christian Success Institute. He has a passion to help others become Successful Christians. Pastor Bobby's Blog (http://pastorbobby.com).He offers a free marketing mini course at http://christianvisionary.com
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