We all have it. The ego or pride can be a good thing in our life. But like so many things, it can be destructive when used in the wrong way. In my life, every dumb decision I have ever made can be summed up in one major issue. Pride! This is why I believe the concept of self-esteem is flawed in a major way. We teach our kids about self-esteem when we want them to achieve something. However, let's take that word apart for a moment. Every time I have tried to esteem myself, I have become worse. A lesser husband, father, and friend. The real issue is that it is not all about me.
I am approaching 42 years old, and as I look back, I can't help but come to this realization. I am never as good as the image I have of myself in my mind. My book is better in my mind than some people make of it. I am kinder in my mind than my friends would say I am. I can even be richer in my mind than I should act with my finances.
Should we act like we are nothing then? You might ask. Absolutely not. C. S. Lewis said once, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."
He is absolutely right. The heart of the issue is "self." So how do I think of myself less?
We can start by realizing that God already esteems us. He made us, and we are precious to him.
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV /
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
When God esteems us, he does it perfectly. In fact, it's freeing. Others' opinions of me do not bind me. My opinion of myself does not bind me. I have value and worth. It also frees me to esteem others without expecting anything in return. When Jesus said to love your enemies, what he is really saying is, "trust me so much that the value I place on your life is so great that it overcomes your need for validation from others. Now see others the way that I see them."
It's not easy, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible. The most secure I have ever been in my life is hanging on to Jesus for dear life. #yeshuasthief