What Is The Correct Term For 'Self Esteem?'
"For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find." Romans 7:18 One of the sayings of the world is that the root of many problems in the human psyche is "low self-esteem." The world therefore teaches that to be well, we must pursue growth in "self esteem." This is a deception that almost all fall for. The Bible calls for the humility of recognizing the truth, and the truth is that we are NOT great, we are NOT wonderful, and we are NOT worthy. One of the greatest human struggles in the face of the truth of God, is to come to realize that we are fallen. Sin dwells within us. "There is none righteous, no not one. -Romans 3:10" “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;" Jeremiah 17:9 Few people are able to admit that they are "desperately wicked." Most see themselves as mostly "good" people, they compare their weaknesses to the weaknesses they see in others and assure themselves therefore, that they're not that bad; then they justify whatever they see as weaknesses (sin) within themselves. But until one acknowledges that he truly is "desperately wicked," he is denying the Word of God. The beginning of the healing of the human soul takes place when the sinner bows before his Creator and accepts what the Word of God tells him he really is. And THEN the Lord begins the work of healing and restoration. There is no room for pride in this process, rather it involves continual recognition of, and repentance of, our sin as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. It's not a one-time thing. The process will continue on for the rest of one's life. I was guilty of that blindness as we all are before the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to us. I didn't commit the sins that the world would say are the worst ones, so I thought I was ok. Well one night as I was preparing to go to bed, the Lord suddenly spoke to my spirit that I am a "murderer." "WHAT???" He went on to bring to me the Scripture that says: "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer..." (1 John 3:15) and there WAS someone whom I truly hated. Had the Spirit of God not spoken that to me, it would never, ever, have occurred to me that I was guilty of "murder" according to the Word of God. You know that sinking feeling you get when you first discover something really bad? I had to sit down, get over the shock, and think that one over; and of course I knew that what the Word of God was showing me was true. But here's a key point as we look at this: I hated this person so intensely that I knew I could not escape from that hatred. What do you do when you find yourself incapable of doing what you know you have to, but cannot? Well ...right then and there I answered God and told him this hatred was so deep that I was totally unable to escape from it, to let it go, to overcome it. And that's exactly where the Lord wanted me. That's exactly where the Lord wants you when you realize you cannot overcome in whatever area the Lord is focusing his spotlight on. Before he heals you, you have to realize your need to be healed - and that's what I asked that night, the cure, the remedy, whatever it would take to escape from this deadly hatred. And when the Lord healed me some time later, it was a supernatural act, so much so that I couldn't even remember the hatred I had carried for that person for so long. This was a supernatural healing that set me free. Happiness does not come from an incorrect evaluation of ourselves. Happiness and peace come from the true admission of our fallen state and the joy of watching the Lord change us. For the born again believer, Jesus Christ has purchased our shack with the price of his own blood, and he then begins the process of turning our shack into a palace fit for the King to reside in. And in that, is the joy and the peace we so unsuccessfully sought out through the philosophies of the world. To be told I was a murderer certainly didn't boost my self esteem. But from there - I was rescued from the darkness that dwelt within me. If you have not been born again through an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, ask him to come into your life to purchase your shack, and express to him your willingness to surrender all as he knocks down walls, replaces the foundation, and totally remakes it into a palace that he is pleased to dwell in. If you are truly willing to surrender all to him, the change he will make in you and in your life will exceed all you could have hoped and dreamed for. It will involve pain, because having one's walls torn down and having one's foundation replaced is painful. When you go to a doctor and he diagnoses an illness, you are willing to submit to the treatment that is needed, oftentimes unpleasant, to bring you to health. How much more therefore, must we be willing to submit to our Creator and follow all his directions as he permanently cures us from our fallen state and makes us new. No, he will not restore our "self esteem," in fact he will destroy it because the correct term for it is "pride" which is the deadliest of sins - pride caused Satan to fall from heaven. But in its place the Lord will create something beautiful that so far supersedes it that one will wonder how on earth he ever could have wanted that which the world chases after, the pitiful goal of "self esteem."