How To Build Self-Esteem God’s Way

self esteem christian

According to Dictionary.reference, self-worth is,

The sense of one’s own value or worth as a person.

In other words, the sum of your overall beliefs about yourself which may include beliefs about your appearance (Ex: am I beautiful or not?), your possessions (Ex: how much money I have), your behaviors (Ex: do I do good?), your relationships (Ex: how many friends I have or how many people I’ve dated in the past), and your experiences (Ex: what someone did to you in the past).

How does this definition contrast with scripture?

Biblically, we know that our self-worth is rooted in Christ, you can’t increase or decrease your value by changing your appearance, increasing your possessions, being a better person, or getting more people to like you.

This may boost your overall belief about your self-worth but it doesn’t change your actual self-worth which is based on Christ.

So what happens when you start to drift away from the central theme that our self-worth is rooted in Christ?

Its pretty simple really, you slowly give your power away by chasing after all of the wrong things which ultimately end up hurting you more anyway.

Here are some ways that we give our power away.

1. Placing a higher value on what people think about you over what God thinks about you.

Take a moment and really think about what your doing when you place people’s opinions about you higher than God’s opinion of you?

You are creating a dependent relationship where your beliefs about your worth and your power is dependent on what someone thinks of you.

Why is this bad?

People are imperfect, subjective, and their opinions can change over time. I’ve had people in my life who I thought loved me and ended up leaving me without even saying goodbye, I’ve been backstabbed by friends, and I’ve been hurt by people in the Church. In retrospect, it sounds relatively simple to say, “Well, just because someone’s opinion changes about me doesn’t mean I will take it personally or change how I view myself.”

Yet, that’s exactly what we do. It’s in our nature to value relationships which ultimately leads us to valuing what people think about us.

However, its important to keep separate and realize that while its important to value people’s opinions, wisdom, and beliefs about us, it will never change how God sees us and our actual value which is rooted in Christ.

2. Giving up and thinking (___________) is impossible.

Whatever you decide to insert into the blank above, whether thats a trial, health issue, financial burden, etc, the moment you give up and lose hope is the moment that you give your power away. Matthew 19:26 says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Impossible exists only in our minds and if we let it get to us it will take away the faith needed for God to make the impossible…possible.

3. Never accepting yourself.

All of us have experienced and bear the conditional scars of love from people in our life who hurt us. Its only natural for us to formulate our self-worth based on the things that happened in our past and the important people in our lives who hurt us.

But if you continue to believe the lies that your hurtful experiences may have caused you to believe, you will never fully accept yourself.

You will essentially rob yourself of a life filled with joy and beauty that God wants you to experience.

So what can you do to build self-esteem God’s way?

1. Show a Christ-like compassion toward yourself.

According to a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, people who showed more compassion toward themselves showed a significant improvement in their psychological health. Improvements in psychological health refers to increases in happiness, optimism, curiosity, exploration, extroversion, and conscientiousness. Furthermore, people who demonstrated more self-compassion towards themselves were found to be more successful in reaching their goals.

So what does a Christ-like compassion towards yourself look like?

To me, its being kind when you fail, make a mistake, or experience pain. Its understanding that everyone falls short of God’s glory but by His grace, we are saved. Its realizing that you are a human being, not a human doing. God loves you for who you are, not what you do. It means accepting all of you, the good and the bad, the things you love and the things you hate, and appreciating all of it because you were made in Christ’s image.

2. Change your inner belief about how you view your life.

study done by Barbara Frederickson, a researcher at the University of Michigan, looked to see if people who thought more positively made any difference. Three groups were divided up based on the short film clips they were shown which either elicited positive, negative, or neutral emotions and thoughts.

The participants were then asked to think of a situation which might stimulate similar feelings and thoughts and to write down, “What you would do in that situation?”

The results, people who were shown more negative based clips wrote down fewer possibilities than the people who were shown more positive based clips. What this means is that how you view your life can actually limit or expand the possibilities you see in a situation.

How does this relate to the Christian life?

There are countless scriptures that tell us to continue to praise God in the storm, to have faith during tough times, to fix our thoughts on God’s glory. Why?

Because your inner belief vastly changes how you deal with everything that happens in your life. If you constantly think that your the victim and nothing ever good comes your way. If you constantly look for all of the negative things in your life or believe that you are undeserving of things such as love, than you will continue to limit yourself and rob you of the joyful life that God intends for you.

3. Be grateful for all of God’s blessings, savior the small things, and value experiences over possessions.

Having a grateful heart has a profound effect on improving how you think and feel about yourself. If you want a more in-depth look at the benefits, check out this article.

A study published in Psychological Science found a few things. One, the wealthier you are, the harder it is to savior and enjoy the small things in life. Two, when people do savior the small things in life they have higher reported measures on happiness. Perhaps this study explains why God talked about how difficult it is for the wealthy to inherit the Kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24).

Finally, think about all of the “things” you’ve accumulated over the years? Some you bought because you really needed them, some you thought you needed them, and a large majority were just stuff you wanted. There is nothing inherently wrong with this but scripture reminds us that we shouldn’t store up possessions here on earth but instead, store up possessions in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

The relevance of this is that a lot of us spend far too much of our time and resources trying to accumulate more and more possessions for the temporary feeling we get from buying things. A study done by San Francisco State University found that our experiences make us happier, not our possessions.

The time you spend with your friends and family, the precious memories where God used you to speak to a person who needed to hear the exact words you said, and the moments we spend with God. These experiences will always be far more valuable than the greatest possessions in the world.

Do you struggle with self-esteem? If so, what do you find most challenging about it? 

Blessings,

Peter

 

Comments

6 Comments

  • Franklin says:

    Im a 58 year old man been married twice . I trust in God but I struggle with many thing in my head. Im over weight border line diabetic high blood pressure and out of shape. I have few friends most live in another state. I moved a couple years back . I have a job but only work 18 to 30 hours a week . Attending college for a course which is good. Im single really miss being in a relationship, hope to find a good christain women .
    So being lonely not having a relationship I turn to porn . Look at all kinds of porn to self full a fantasy . really sad . I feel this has help destroyed my self worth . I pray often for help to stop but when I get depress I go rite back then fell ashamed . Im not sure how I do with out God in my life but I surely far of the narrow road . I worked in the same field for 35 years now where I move to it is hard to fine a job for 40 hours and only make 12 dollars a hour barely enough to support myself. So with all that I have lost ME im working to find him , I pray, cry like a baby, most of the time I forget my blessing . So how do I regroup ,and get back to liking me , not for what I have but who I am inside . Yes I know im a child of God ,just need some help

    • HealingfromGod HealingfromGod says:

      Hi Franklin,

      Sounds like you have been through a lot and certainly have your struggles you are facing right now. I know things must be really difficult right now but now more then ever, I would really encourage you to seek God with all your heart and pray that God opens doors and opportunities for you to grow.

      I would love to talk more with you about this and I want you to know that I’m praying for you. Feel free to email me @ healingfromgod@hotmail.com.

      Hang in there brother,

      Peter

    • laura says:

      I have been married 17 years. I love my husband so much. But he has left me alone a majority of our marriage doing things like racing by himself, and never spending time with me. Even birthdays and Valentine’s. Days have gone by without even a card. My way of dealing with it is yelling, because I want to be heard. One time I way at the hospital. With my mom she was having knee replacement surgery, when I got home he and all our stuff was gone. He left me no money food and I got kicked out of our apartment. And know he’s treati g me the same way and he took a job with his family, and spent all his time there. Its far from US so my car broke down and I haven’t seen him since

      • HealingfromGod HealingfromGod says:

        Hi Laura,

        Terribly sorry to read your story. First of all, are you okay? Do you have a place to stay? What are you doing to get by now? You and your husband must have at some point had a “happy” marriage, do you know of any reasons why he left you? Any red flags that maybe you might have overlooked at first?

  • Ronald Moore says:

    A lifetime of living a just struggling to make from day to day. Being alone and having no one to relate to what’s normal and what’s not at 65 I’m still looking for answers. I’m lost in a world. I don’t understand and people I don’t. Can’t trust because I see others that have gone through life one step at a time and not having to start at my age. When I’m still stuck dealing what a young teenager needs to go through at 65. I’m not sure if I can catch up.

    • Peter Peter says:

      Hi Ronald,

      Well it sure sounds like you’ve been through a lot and want to give up. I really would like to hear more about your story and what’s going on in your life. Feel free to comment or message me. Praying for you and don’t lose hope, God will never give up on you.

      Blessings,

      Peter

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