I’m sure we can all agree that we’d love to have high self-esteem — to be comfortable in our own skin, accepted, and admired.
But do we know how to seek self-esteem God’s way? You don’t obtain true self-esteem through beautifying and glamorizing the exterior surface or by gaining materialistic things. Neither does good self-esteem come by striving to conform to whatever is popular at the moment. When we focus solely on being fashionable or what others think of us, we starve our souls as we feed the desires of the flesh.
Here’s something I’ve learned that’s led me to rethink self-esteem:
The concepts of self-esteem and self-worth are distorted and measured wrongly in our culture. When we value self-absorption in place of focusing on our identity in God, we lose sight of what’s important. We must understand that our truest identity is not found in ourselves at all, but in who we are in God. This may seem like an odd concept at first since “self”-esteem is rooted in “self,” right? One might question: how can our self-esteem be found in God?
For starters, our lives are not our own because we belong to our Creator. If ladies of all ages could comprehend the powerful concept of God-esteem, their hearts would begin to overflow with peace, gratitude, and contentment.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14).
I have struggled with self-esteem and have been my own worst critic. After years of comparing myself to others and being unsatisfied with my appearance and talents, I started to pray that I would see myself as God sees me. He loves us and sees the beauty that’s within our hearts.
Let me remind you that over 2,000 years ago, Jesus placed our self-esteem on the cross when His hands and feet were nailed there. Brutally beaten, ridiculed, mocked, scorned, and then crucified, Jesus hung on the cross thinking of you and me as blood poured from His torn, ripped flesh. Our Saviour paid the eternal price for all mankind in order to show His endless love for us.
Despite our flaws, bad hair days, and physical imperfections, our loving Father adores us and faithfully accepts us just the way we are.
Many young women lack self-confidence because they see in others what they do not see in themselves. I myself have been plagued by this tendency to search out traits and qualities I admire in others and then feel I do not measure up. However, I have come to know that the Word of God is true: “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” This scripture assures me that as long as I am living my life to please the Lord, He will fulfill my desires as they align with His desires for me. I gain my confidence by knowing that He is on my side, and only He holds the perfect plan for my life.
Never compare your outward appearance to others around you. Do not wish you were a little shorter or a little thinner. Do not view yourself, God’s creation, distastefully, because God made you in His image. You are who you are because He created you for a specific purpose.
This is a reassurance to the young ladies who feel ugly and inadequate: You are beautiful. My heart aches and cries out for the women who are critical of themselves. God created each and every one of us just as He wanted us to be. We are all fashioned by His marvelous design, with a distinct blueprint, and are not meant to be a replica of others. You may not look like a supermodel or be on the front cover of a glamorous magazine. However, you have something that is priceless: your calling to be a royal, peculiar daughter of the most High King.
Tears stream down my face when I think of what an absolute blessing it is to know that you and I are accepted and loved immensely by the One who created us.
The One who made heaven and earth sees beautiful qualities in us that we abuse time and time again as we compare ourselves to others. The God who saw potential in a man named Moses — a man who stuttered and even questioned himself — to deliver the Israelites from bondage. The God who chose Peter — a man who denied Him three times — to deliver the message of salvation and carry the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.
I am so thankful that I can serve a God who forgives, and who chooses people who do not see the potential in themselves — a God who gives confidence to His daughters in their purpose and identity.
Will you join me in living intentionally and pursuing God-esteem over self-esteem?
Images of Shaunmarie Dotson courtesy of Brianna Amons.