I’m NOT OK: A biblical look at self esteem


How do we prepare our kids for life beyond the classroom, and their youth group? And how do we persuade them to not become a part of the staggering statistic: that the majority of youth leave the church and their faith after graduating high school?  In our second half, we’re going to share some first-hand research in an excellent article from the MarcFiveSolas blog, written not based on speculation but on hundreds of interviews with college students.

First up, we’re talking about how we’ve flip-flopped the Gospel to enhance our self esteem. Let that sink in for a moment, because we’re going to explain. Self esteem has been a catchword since the 1970s as part of the political-correctness movement, and over the past two decades we’ve seen the Church become saturated with self esteem lingo, especially aimed at our youth. Is self esteem biblical? Our guest in the first segment says no.

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Vickie Schwahn a local volunteer teacher at Zion Lutheran Church and school in Wayside, joins us to share what she has learned about this fascinating subject. For information on the local Biblical Self Esteem workshop March 2, call 920-864-2468.

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6 Responses to I’m NOT OK: A biblical look at self esteem

  1. Dan says:

    When checking how bad a problem is, go to the source of the diagnosis.

    Genesis 6:5, 8:21, Job 15:16, Psalm 10:4, 10:13, 10:15, 14:3, 53:3, Proverbs 11:5, 11:21, Isaiah 64:6, Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-18, Ephesians 2:1-3, Romans 5:12, and we haven't even touched on pride yet, which is what self esteem is all about. Talk about promoting sin.

    Just read through proverbs sometime which side do you come down on? Be honest, we really do need Christ and His righteousness for we have none of our own.


  2. One can always look at the apostle Paul's sense lf 'self' esteem if we need a specific example/NT model. The longer he served in ministry, the darker the remaining sin in his life became in contrast to the 'glory of God in the face of Christ'.

    Concerning the self-esteem movement, as far as I know Maslow's heirarchy of needs is still the most taught theory of human behavior. It's ALL about self esteem with self-actualization at the top of the pyramid. It has invaded the church and resulted in things like Robert Schuler saying that lack of self-esteem is THE great sin. We have at least a couple of generations of what I call 'children of a lesser God' that has been raised in a self-centered rather God-centered Christianity.

    Just a couple of my thoughts.


  3. Dan says:

    Dan C. The damage is older than a couple generations. Many of Paul letters warns of the coming apostasy in which men who were counted as part of the body of Christ would rise up and draw people after themselves. Acts 20:26-30 But in order for that to happen we have to be esteeming one better than another first for if they truly had the same care one for another then there is no division in the body. 1 Cor 12:22-25 and the body would be unified in Christ Ephesians 4:1-16

    1 Corinthians 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

    But instead of heading the warning and practice we have followed after the error exposed in 2 Corinthians 10:12

    12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. What does it mean when we are not wise?

    What does that make us, when we do this? Does it make us a fool? And what does the fool say in his heart. There is no God, therefore I decide what is good. Is this not what we have done?

    And the error is again exposed in Jude 1:6 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. > Do we not admire our own teachers denominations and say one is greater than another? And what of political alliances? I am not saying I myself am perfect in this, for my flesh longs to do this very thing and I prefer one man over another and sin.

    Even the apostle to the Gentiles, Paul said why do you look to me? Who am I? Who is anyone? Look to Christ He brings the increase all others are just laborers that is if we are faithful, 1 Corinthians 3: 1-8, otherwise we are thieves and spies who are not fit for anything good. Titus 1:6. This later category is where we find the pulpits which is by its very presence man centered. For the one who stands behind it does so that men may look at him and to him, when God says lift one another up, prefer one another ahead of yourselves, build one another up, exhort one another, encourage, rebuke admonish one another, yea even provoke one another onto love (1 Cor 13:4-8) and good deeds (good deeds meet with repentance), and to the individual he says repent humble yourselves before the Lord and He shall lift you up. Submit yourself to the Lord and the Devil will flee from you. If you truly wish to be great become a servant of all that is become (least of all). Look at the words of our Lord spoken through the mouth of David. Psalm 22:6 Look at the death Christ endured, still want to be great and yet this is our example of Greatness, of Godliness, of Righteousness, of Holiness and still we refuse to follow in His steps at least here in most of America. Where the church is being sanctified in physical suffering and torture this is not the case. People count the cost and by the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit they go all in even if it means they will lose their life for the Testimony of Christ. They are convinced it is worth it all because it is worth it all. But it is because we don't know this God who laid down His life for us, if we did we would follow His example and lay down our own wills as He himself Laid down His and did the Fathers bidding to Finish the work for which He was sent. He did that! He finished it!! He resurrection proved it and He it is who is ascended to the right hand of the Father and He will judge all.

    Oh that we would long to see what Stephen saw while he was being stoned, Christ who is seated at the right hand in the heavenlies, standing to welcome him home.
    Well done my good and faithful servant! enter into your rest. Oh if this would be our hearts desire, nothing else would matter. We would want Christ.


  4. Larry says:

    Daring to offer counterpoint here, God wants us to find our value in Him. Rejecting self- esteem in favor of self- deprecation could also be false humility, ie pride. The heart is deceitfully wicked, but we are also new creations in Christ with a clean conscience following repentance. Balance is needed to satisfy what Bible teaches on this subject.


    • Sharon W. says:

      Kinda like finding the equalibrium of "two thoughts held in tension"….a Hebraic way of thinking……

      Yes, the heart is deceitfully wicked, none of us will ever be equal to God VS. but please let us not "look a gift horse in the mouth. HIS gift of Grace is holy and when He does a "good work" in us, it's done right and has great value and any value we have is because of God….emphasis is on Him.

      I have no control over those who keep wanting to boast of self or their own self efforts. I can try to gently persuade them otherwise with Godly Wisdom….I do have my own self to deal with.
      But I rejoice when I recognize the True power of God change people closer to His image….not so much because of them, even if there is a real fondness towards them….but because of HIM.
      That's one reason why I want to see my fellow brothers & sister grow in Grace- Because GOD gets the GLORY, whether THEY understand it or not or truly treasure His gifts!


  5. Mr Davis says:

    Larry we have such a high view of man already and such a low view of God that there can be no balance. If we truely had balance I do not believe we would not survive the knowledge, it would ruin us.

    How do you measure something finite against something infinite? How do you measure something profane against something Holy? How do you measure wickedness against righteousness? Injust with the Just? Creature vs Creator? These are all opposites. Complete opposites.

    As much as there was nothing desirable about Christ as far as a world standard goes Isaiah 53:2-3, Psalm 22:6 how much less desirable are we from a heavenly perspective where your standard is God Isaiah 6:5.

    We really do think much of ourselves and our accomplishments as if they mean something or have any value. Galatian 6:3

    But since this view bothers us we ignor it and continue on with a high view of man and in our minds dimminish the Holy Infinite Eternal Just, Righteous, Perfect in the process into something profane.

    It is not a good path we are on.


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