Low self-esteem is a condition that has a solution.
Last week I said low self-esteem is the result of thoughts, temperament, and treatment. And I suggested memorizing these truths:
- I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
- I am here on purpose.
- I won’t compare my weakness with someone else’s strength.
- I do some things well.
- I am not competing with anyone for God’s will for my life.
Let me explain how I came to live those life-changing statements.
While beating myself up for all the things I’m not, I read this awesome passage. “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:13-17 NIV). Fearfully and wonderfully made by God himself! That gives me value.
Realizing I am here on purpose flooded me with hope. While the enemy went overboard with his bashing, the Lord whispered in my heart, “I put you here—on this earth, in this family, in these circumstances—because you have something to contribute.”Realizing I am here on purpose flooded me with hope. While the enemy went overboard with his bashing, the Lord whispered in my heart, “I put you here—on this earth, in this family, in these circumstances—because you have something… Click To Tweet
His Word clarifies we are created with differences to fulfill specific assignments in the body of Christ, as the different parts of the body—eyes, ears, hands, and feet—contribute to its function (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). We each have a purpose in his huge plan.
Years ago I learned an unforgettable lesson when our pastor’s wife, Wanda, had minor surgery and wanted me to stay with her while her husband led prayer meeting. She asked me to get an item out of her closet. Opening the door I saw unbelievable organization. That small space looked like a magazine advertisement. Overwhelmed with discouragement, I went home and cried. The tears stopped abruptly when I heard God’s voice in my heart. Don’t compare your weakness with someone else’s strength. He brought me to this verse. “Try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities” (Romans 12:3 Phillips). A temperament analysis and spiritual-gifts inventory helped me identify and appreciate my talents and abilities and stop protesting over what I didn’t get. It isn’t egotistical to have a sane estimate of our capabilities.
My sane estimate revealed I do some things well. Not all things, but some things. I wanted to exchange temperaments, but which would I choose? Nobody got all strengths. Changing temperaments would give me a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Reading Exodus gave me an appreciation for God’s personal stamp on my life. “The Lord said to Moses, See, I have called by name Bezalel…And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and ability, in understanding and intelligence, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, To devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver and in bronze, And in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship…I have appointed with him Aholiab…and to all who are wisehearted I have given wisdom and ability to make all that I have commanded you” (Exodus 31:1-6 Amplified). God equips us for the work he designs. Our concern is to use our strengths for his maximum glory.
During college my daughter Leanne competed in several beauty pageants. One evening she returned from practice a little discouraged because all of the contestants had amazing talent performances. Moments later her bubbly personality kicked in as she shared how the Lord’s sweet assurance in her heart had lifted her despondency. “I’m not competing with anyone else for God’s will for my life.” That’s awesome truth.
A bumper sticker brought a smile. “If you don’t like what you see, lower your expectations.” If perfection is the expectation,measuring up is impossible—but I can please God.Listen to this. “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7 NIV). My only responsibility is pleasing the Lord. His responsibility is making people (even those with an unrealistic expectation of perfection) live at peace with me.
Basing my esteem on the opinion and approval—or lack of it—of other people and their treatment of me kept me locked in inferiority and insecurity…until I learned what God thinks of me.Basing my esteem on the opinion and approval—or lack of it—of other people and their treatment of me kept me locked in inferiority and insecurity…until I learned what God thinks of me. Click To Tweet
God’s truth seared my inferior interior. “You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19 Amp.). “You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20 Amp.).
Purchased with a preciousness! Giving in to inferiority insults the Christ who bought us with his own blood.
I broke free from the prison of low self-esteem by changing my thinking. What I think is my choice. I can choose to wallow in negative thoughts or I can choose to believe and live God’s truth—the choice that leads to freedom.
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(Adapted from I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life.)
© Dianne Barker 2018 (reprinted)