Self-Esteem (Part 2)

VII. If low self-esteem is as important as the world says it is, where is the emphasis on it in Scripture? A. Scripture is void of commanding or recommending self-esteem. B. Scripture does, however, teach that we should esteem: 1. God highly. DEU 32:15. 2. God's word. JOB 23:12; PSA 119:128; 138:2. 3. others better than ourselves. PHIL 2:3. 4. pastors. 1TH 5:13. 5. the reproach of Christ. HEB 11:26; ACT 5:41. C. Consider LUK 16:15. 1. This was spoken to the Pharisees. LUK 16:14. 2. They had all the resources for self-esteem. a. They were achievers. MAT 23:15. b. They thought well of themselves. LUK 18:9. c. They were esteemed by others. MAT 23:7; ACT 26:5. 3. They were not lacking in self-esteem. 4. But they were abomination to God! 5. Paul, the former Pharisee, came to God's conclusion about himself. PHIL 3:5-8. D. Consider the lack of attitude of self-worth in: 1. Jacob. GEN 32:10. Self-Esteem 8-18-13 Page 3 2. Gideon. JDG 6:15. 3. Job. JOB 42:6. 4. Isaiah. ISA 6:5. 5. John the Baptist. LUK 3:16. 6. the centurion. LUK 7:6-7. 7. the prodigal son. LUK 15:21. 8. Paul. ROM 7:18, 24; 1CO 15:9-10. E. Jesus Christ did not cater to self-esteem. MAT 7:11; 15:25-28; 19:17. F. Whereas we are told to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (ROM 12:3), where are we told to not think of ourselves more lowly than we ought to think? G. Scripture rather calls us to lowliness of mind and humbleness of mind. PHIL 2:3; COL 3:12. 1. It is with lowliness and meekness that we endeavor to “...keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (EPH 4:1-3). 2. A sure-fire way of not having this unity is by being puffed up, as was Corinth. 1CO 4:6, 18-19 c/w 1CO 1:10; 11:19. H. Jesus Christ is the model of meekness and lowliness (MAT 11:29) Whose mind we are to imitate. PHIL 2:3-7. I. The Scriptural path to greatness is through humility. PRO 15:33; 18:12; 22:4; 29:23. 1. Who was justified, the Pharisee or the publican? LUK 18:9-14. 2. Remember that Lucifer and his ilk are big on self-exaltation. 2TH 2:4. 3. God gives grace to the humble. 1PE 5:5-6. VIII. Consider other warnings against the importance of self. A. We are to not be wise in our own conceit (personal opinion, judgment or estimation). PRO 26:12, 16; 28:11; ROM 11:25; 12:16. B. We are to avoid vainglory (glory that is vain, empty, or worthless; inordinate or unwarranted pride in one's accomplishments or qualities; disposition or tendency to exalt oneself unduly; idle boasting or vaunting). GAL 5:26; PHIL 2:3. 1. Consider JER 9:23-24. 2. How much of our culture is defined by perceived superiority in academics, finance and sports? a. The foolishness and weakness of God is wiser and stronger than men. 1CO 1:25. b. God owns everything, distributes it at His pleasure, and takes it away at His pleasure. 1CH 29:11-12; JOB 1:21. c. He gives or deprives His creatures of wisdom. PRO 2:6; JOB 12:20; 39:17. d. He “...taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man” (PSA 147:10). e. Consider how quickly proud Nebuchadnezzar fell. DAN 4:30-33. f. We are fools to glory in what we have received as if we had not received it. 1CO 4:7. g. (Gal 6:3) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 3. We ought rather to glory in our God and His ways. JER 9:24; 1CO 1:30-31. 4. Paul would only glory in the cross of Christ which was the ultimate example of the superior wisdom of God and exaltation through humility. GAL 6:14; 1CO 2:7-8; PHIL 2:8-9. Self-Esteem 8-18-13 Page 4 C. We are not to commend ourselves. 2CO 10:17-18. 1. (Pro 27:2) Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. 2. (Rom 15:18) For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 3. We are warned against commending ourselves by measuring ourselves against others' opinions and works. 2CO 10:12. 4. (Pro 20:6) Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? D. We are to avoid vanity. EPH 4:17; COL 2:18; PSA 119:37, 113; PRO 30:8. 1. vanity: That which is vain, futile, or worthless; that which is of no value or profit. 3.a. The quality of being personally vain; high opinion of oneself; self-conceit and desire for admiration. 2. vain: Devoid of real value, worth or significance; idle, unprofitable, useless, worthless; of no effect, force, or power; fruitless, futile, unavailing. 3. Contrast these definitions with the definition of esteem. 4. Now consider the words of PSA 39:5-6; 144:3-4. Did the Psalmist derive selfesteem from the fact that God took knowledge of him? E. We are also warned about undue emphasis on the outward appearance, which is a form of vanity. PRO 31:30; 1PE 3:3-4. 1. In Isaiah's day, the daughters of Zion were judged for defining themselves by their appearance. ISA3:16-24. a. b. c. d. e. 2. This is but his a. b. c. d. haughty: High in one's own estimation; lofty and disdainful in feeling or demeanour; proud, arrogant, supercilious. (Of persons, their action, speech, etc.). mince: intr. To walk with short steps or with affected preciseness or nicety; to walk in an affected manner; to show affectation or affected delicacy in manner of gait. The WAY one looks or acts is sending a message: it is a form of communication! ISA 3:9; PRO 6:13. The message these gals were sending was not that they lacked self-esteem, but rather self-denial and self-examination (examination of oneself with regard to one's conduct, motives, etc., esp. as a religious duty). Having discretion is more important than outward beauty. PRO 11:22. not a problem that is unique to women. Absalom was praised for his beauty beauty was only skin deep. 2SAM 14:25. Absalom was noted for his luxuriant hair. 2SAM 14:26. Absalom wanted to let everyone know that he was the cream of the crop. 2SAM 15:1. (1) Good looks ran in David's family. 1SAM 16:12. (2) But so did David's poor parenting skills. 1KI 1:5-6. (3) “Those parents know not what they do who indulge a proud humour in their children; for I have seen more young people ruined by pride than by any one lust whatsoever.” (Matthew Henry) Absalom's self-esteem was his problem, not his solution. He was a narcissistic, egotistical sociopath that rode to political power on looks, charisma and eloquence. “It was probably his personal beauty that caused the people to interest Self-Esteem 8-18-13 Page 5 themselves so much in his behalf; for the great mass of the public is ever caught and led by outward appearances.” (Adam Clarke) 3. Scripture also condemns effeminacy in men. 1CO 6:9. a. effeminate: Of persons: That has become like a woman. a. Womanish, unmanly, enervated, feeble; self-indulgent, voluptuous; unbecomingly delicate or over-refined. b. It is utterly inappropriate for a man to primp, preen, or prance as a delicate woman might do. 4. If we overvalue our outward appearance to the neglect of our inner character, where will we be if God turns our comeliness into corruption? DAN 10:8; PSA 39:11; JOB 17:1. Self-Esteem 8-18-13 Page 5
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