In clinical psychology, the term self-esteem deals with personality theories developed by Wiliam James, Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Rogers, whose followers popularized the movement.
However, the roots of self-esteem go back to the beginnings of human history.
It all began in the third chapter of Genesis. Initially, Adam and Eve were conscious of God, conscious of one another, conscious of things around them but not of themselves.
The perception of themselves was incidental and secondary to their focus on God and on each other. Adam understood that Eve was the bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh ( Gen. 2:23), but he was not conscious of himself in the same way that his descendants would be.
The ego was no problem until the fall.
Eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil did not bring the divine wisdom that the serpent spoke on but rather it brought guilt, fear, and separation from God.
So when Adam and Eve heard that God was approaching, they hid among the trees. But God saw them and asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Gen. 3.11).
Adam and Eve responded by giving us the first example of self-justification.
First Adam blamed Eve and God, and then Eve blamed the serpent.
The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil has generated the sinful ego represented by self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-justification, hypocrisy, self-realization, self-identification, self-pity, and other forms of self-focus and egocentrism.
In this way, the current movement of self-etc. has its roots in the sin of Adam and Eve.
Through the centuries mankind has continued to revel in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which has spread its branches of worldly wisdom, including vain human philosophies and, more recently, “scientific” philosophies and the metaphysics of modern psychology.
The religious formulas of self-worth, self-love, and self-acceptance trickle down from the television tube, flow through the radio waves and seduce through publicity.
From the cradle to the grave, ego advocates promise to heal all the evils of society through doses of self-esteem, self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love.
And everyone, or almost everyone, repeat the chorus: You just need to love and accept yourself as you are. You need to forgive yourself, and I just have to accept myself as I am.
A person worthy of love, of appreciation, of forgiveness. “
When we are faced with self-esteem, we are not only
People with low self-esteem shy away from church activities because they feel unworthy to handle such responsibility thereby hindering the church of their talents needed for growth.
They become so over sensitive to complaints and correction.
Low self-esteem also can lead to pride. When an individual feels so low about themselves, they may not want other people to know such.
Hence, they show some sort of arrogance, stiff headedness and become social nuisances that don’t want to talk to anyone or want to be talked to.
This is called the “Compensatory Mechanisms” However this does not apply to all cases. The end point is, low self-esteem has no advantage or merits, rather its effects cut across ones social life, health and spirituality.
There are several things that improve one’s self-esteem.
Listening to compliments and knowing that we are admired uplifts our spirit; being valued for our skills and talents is the fuel that builds confidence within us and the belief that everything is going well.
One may feel that wearing brand new clothes and doing spectacular makeup is a guarantee that they will be seen as beautiful.
But there is a subtle misconception just in what improves our self-esteem.
In the dictionary we read that self-esteem is the confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.
If it is ” I” who value myself, then why do I give so much ear to what comes from outside? Why do I care about what others say about me or what they do not say?
This, unfortunately, is the mistake that most women and men make.
As a consequence, we find ourselves prostrate and sad. Our self-confidence does not seem to exist and we are susceptible to evil thoughts about life, about ourselves, and about what we are doing in our society.
The standard of beauty in our society is utopia, but we frantically seek to achieve it. And for what? To reach the margin of a vulnerable and futile self-esteem pattern, we Christians have let ourselves be the target of our heart.
The Bible is clear: “The heart is deceitful above all things and perverse; who shall know him? “(Jeremiah 17: 9).
We can not base our self-esteem on what our heart thinks is the best.
We need to be guided by what God says is the best. “For I know the thoughts that I have toward you, saith the Lord; thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you an end, which you have hoped for “(Jeremiah 29:11).
The biblical pattern of beauty is the remedy to heal us of the need to nurture our self-esteem for what others say.
From the inside out we are adorned by the Holy Spirit.
Our soul is brightened by the joy of salvation (1 Sam. 2: 1), and the heart, full of joy, brings beauty to our countenance (Proverbs 15:13).
Our spirit, strengthened in the Lord, gives no space to negative thoughts and ignores the venomous words of the enemy (Psalm 51:10).
In our physical, Holy Spirit Temple, we use makeup in moderation.
We only value and emphasize what we like about ourselves.
Let us dress as Paul warns: “honest attire” (1 Timothy 2: 9), and behave with femininity, always running from the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
When we understand and live this truth, we free ourselves from the misconception and come to live the real meaning of the word self-esteem.
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