self-es·teem ˈˌself əˈstēm/
confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.
Our world seems to be caught up with this word and all that it implies. The focus of course, is on self. One’s view of self is rooted deeply in their family, upbringing and the relationships involved. If a parent or parents are absent, either physically or emotionally, a void is created. If abuse is involved in any way, another deep bruise is created.
God created us for relationships. In Genesis 2:18, He said “it is not good for the man to be alone.” We were created for relationships with one another, and with Him, our Creator. Because sin entered our world, relationships are often full of strife, tension and unhealthy habits. Not what God intended.
When we change our focus from what we think of ourselves in spite of our past, we learn to understand how God sees us. When God looks at us, He sees His beautiful creation, just like a parent looks at a newborn baby. He has proven His love for us by the sacrifice of His only Son, to save us from our sins and this fallen world. When we accept Him as our Savior, His love covers our brokenness, no matter its source.
So, the absent father is replaced by the ever-present Father. The cruel words of an angry mother are replaced with the soft, encouraging and loving words of Jesus “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” And “…my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
The Apostle Paul teaches us in the book of Ephesians how to live this kind of life and just who we are when we accept Jesus as Lord. Paul tells us we are chosen by Him to be holy (different from the world) and blameless. He adopted us as sons and daughters; we are redeemed, forgiven and lavished with God’s grace (getting something we don’t deserve). He said in v. 13: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” Not only does God provide a new identity for us in Him, He seals it with His Holy Spirit, who lives in us and guides us in our new life.
Listening to what the world tells you about your esteem only brings heartache. You cannot change your past, your past relationships or your bloodline. But, you can change to Whom you listen. Left on your own, you will always hear what the world says and you will never live up to its expectations. But God….your Creator….your Heavenly Father, sees you as His perfect child. He longs to guide you, to hold you and to show you His plans for you, His good, perfect plans for you.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blamelessin his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.