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Is Having Self-esteem Important for a Christian?  

In a day and age when self-esteem is seen as a necessary aid to mental health, it’s good to consider the question as to whether having a good self-esteem is important for a Christian.  

When Jesus says that the second commandment of the law is like the first – “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”-  clearly He is implying that we are to love and esteem ourselves. And so, we must conclude that good self-esteem is proper for the Christian, and even necessary.  

BUT, this is not a self-esteem that’s all about having a good, positive self-image, regarding ourselves as capable, significant, successful, and worthy. Or of a sense of personal worthiness, as the feeling of ‘I am good’, or a sense of  feeling good about yourself because you’ve been working hard. Neither is it talking about a feeling of, ‘I am worthy’, ‘I am me, and I am good, ‘Cause “God don’t make no junk!”’ Well, God didn’t make junk, to be sure. But creation is not the whole story in the history of mankind. There is also the fall. And whilst human beings did not become junk in the fall, they did become rebellious sinners. The bible tells us that even our righteousness is like filthy rags in God’s holy sight (Isaiah 64:6).  

In and of ourselves, we are nothing to be esteemed. But there is a proper, positive, Christian self-esteem. Through his grace, Jesus gifts all who repent of their sins and believe in him, a positive self-esteem that far exceeds any worldly concept of self-esteem. 

If you are truly a Christian, then you are:  

  • chosen by God (Isaiah 41:9) and, therefore, precious to God. God has loved me from eternity (1 Corinthians 13:8); 
  • redeemed, not with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of God’s own Son, who came in our flesh (1 Peter 1:18);  
  • precious to the Lord Jesus (Romans 5:8);  
  • indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9);  
  • a new creature in Christ. You possess the life of the risen Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17); 
  • the temple of God. The image of God has been restored in you (1 Corinthians 6:19); 
  • justified by faith and accepted by God (Romans 5:1); 
  • not guilty; and no longer worthy of hell or of any condemnation (Romans 8:1); 
  • adopted by God and heir of all things (Romans 8:16-17);  
  • destined for glory, soul, and body (2 Thessalonians 2:14).  

Importantly, a proper self-esteem extends to the physical body of a Christian as well as the soul. You are: 

  • made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), and 
  • fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). 

God has ordained each day of your life “before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). God knows all about you. Even “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12:7), and with that full knowledge of you, God chooses to love you.  

The love that God has for you and me means that we should never be discontented about any aspect of our circumstances.  

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