Real Self-Esteem

 

Scripture: (Colossians 1:12-15 KJV)  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

 

Today I want to leave behind all the vain philosophy and pop psychobabble and concentrate upon the Word of God. It is my believe that one of the main causes for us not being all that God has called us to be is our self esteem. We discover in Godís word that it is His desire that we live an abundant life. God has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of us yet too often we are held down and do not reach our full potential in Christ Jesus. Last week we discussed the hierarchy of needs as suggested by Abraham Maslow. In that, self-esteem separated the base physical needs from what he called self-actualization. Godís people have been living for too long without the self-esteem they need to reach their high calling. There is no other reason for this but that we have believed the lie of the devil. John 10:10 teaches us that the thief comes but to steal, kill and destroy. Well, Jesus came so that we would have life and more abundantly. That means that He has given us the power and authority to take back what the enemy has stolen from us. By His resurrection power we can bring back to life that which was killed and by His Holy Spirit that which was destroyed can be restored.

            First I want to look at the passage of scripture above and see what God is telling us today. God has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. That means that God has taken that which in no way could have ever stood in His presence because of sin and pride and lust and greed and made us perfect in His eyes through the blood of His own Son. What has this got to do with our self-esteem? Well, think about it, our self-image began to be developed very early in life. When you were a baby you thought that the world revolved around you. All you had to do was to cry and someone came and gave you something to eat. Cry again and your diaper got changed. Again and you got held and loved on. You had the world at your beacon command.  So in a sense your world did revolve around you. That did not last long however. Most of us quickly learned that life was a give and take situation. We discovered the reality of the law of reaping that which we have sown. Unfortunately some people did not ever get a real grasp on that concept and so even into adulthood they still believe that the world revolves around them. Perhaps you know one of these people. They end up being narcissistic and egocentric, and downright selfish. Lucky for us they are few and not quite far enough between. Most of us go to the other extreme and rather then think that the world still revolves around us we end up getting the idea that somehow the world is against us. We feel as if we are carrying the world upon our shoulders and are not real happy with the job we are doing carrying it. Some of us have dropped the ball a time or two and our self-image and esteem has become blurred and dim at the least. As I was researching this message this past week I came across an article that talked about how our low self-esteem was a product of the sin of pride. At first I could not understand how pride could bring about low self-esteem then after thinking about it I realized that our own pride could be hurt by the realization of the rest of the world not revolving around us. In that case, could it be your own foolish pride that has keeping you from the success that God has already prepared for you?

Then as we are taught about God and we hear the Gospel. It gets drilled into our heads over and over again how much of sinners we are. Before we hear any good news about our forgiveness and inheritance we learn how undeserving and wicked we are. We learn the Ten Commandments and wince when we cannot even keep them. We discover that we have sinned and fallen way short of the glory of God. And we know that the wages of sin is death. If we only go that far, that does not do much for our self-esteem. So we listen to the part about how the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. We believe in His atoning death upon the cross and we accept Him as our Lord and savior. Then before we know it we fall back into the old behaviors of sin and selfishness and we lose hope in ever really changing. The problem here is that we are looking at ourselves through our own eyes and not seeing us as God sees us. God sees us through that blood of his son. God Himself has bought you with a great price. You cannot even fathom the value that God has placed upon your life. We need to stop believing the lie of the enemy who continues to bring up our failures and start walking in the victory and holding our heads up with self- esteem. Esteem in our heavenly Father, esteem in our Lord Jesus Christ who dwells within us.

It reminds me of the story about the monastery that was in decline. They were down to just five members and the order was about to fold. Then one day the Abbott went to visit an old Rabbi in his hermitage in the woods. He asked the Rabbi if he knew of anything that might save the order. The Rabbi said no, for he had the same problem in his synagogue. The two wept and prayed together and as the Abbott was leavening he asked again if there wasnít something that the Rabbi knew that might help save the monastery. The Rabbi told him that there was one amongst the small group that would be their savior. When the Abbott got back to the brothers he told them what the Rabbi had said and they all wondered which one of them it would be. They all looked at each other a little bit differently, for the other may be the one. They began to treat each other with more respect never knowing which one might rise to become their hero. The monastery began to take on a different air about it. The townís people who would come and picnic on the grounds noticed a difference and began to invite their friends and relatives to come with them on their outings. It was not long before one of the young men from the village asked the Abbott if he could join their order. Then another and another and before long that monastery started to shine forth as a beacon of hope to the world.

Sometimes we look at ourselves and our past mistakes and our past failures. We look at the people around us, even some of our closest friend and loved ones who have let us down. We look at business partners that we have worked side by side with for years who have hurt us. We look at all of this and we start getting discouraged. We get discouraged in our fellow man and we get discouraged within ourselves. It is easy to lose hope, it is easy to fall into a trap of having a low self-esteem but God wants you to know that within you, if you would except Jesus Christ, within you resides the one that can make the difference. Christ has shown us how one man, one woman, can make a huge impact on this world when we come to the realization of who we are in Christ Jesus. Never forget that great price that was paid for you. I was talking about the value that God has placed upon you. Value is a constant. Take a twenty- dollar bill. What is its value? Twenty dollars. Now crumple that bill up. Now how much is it worth? Still twenty dollars. Not take that twenty and crumple it up and throw it in the muck and the mire and trod it under foot. How much is it worth? Twenty dollars.

What is your self worth? I do not mean your net worth, for you can have great net worth and still have a low self worth. But I will give you this that as you increase your self worth, so in turn will your net worth increase. God has placed more value in you then the entire world can contain. Know you not that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit? KNOW YOU NOT THAT YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? When you ask Jesus Christ into your heart you are changed from darkness into light. Within the Tabernacle was the Holy Place, which was covered by a heavy veil. The only light that came there was the Shekinah glory of God. The very presence of God is a bright shining light that takes away all darkness. Have you ever been in such darkness that you can feel it? If you go to Mammoth Caves or Carlsbad Caverns sometime when they shut off the lights you can experience such darkness that you cannot even see your hand in front of your face. But in that darkness when just a small match is lit, the darkness is lifted and it is as if a weight is taken off your heart. When Moses came into the presence of God he had to veil his face for the Glory of God shone so brightly from his face. You and I are like mirrors of the glory of God. God is the light of the world. Jesus said I AM the light. Then he turns to you and says, you are the light. We are mirrors of the light of God. And when our mirror is facing away from the light it can not reflect the light. Or when our mirror gets muddied by the things of this world our image is blurred. But when we turn our face towards God and He washes us with His own blood then His light can shine into all giving hope and encouragement and strength and wisdom and love.

Some of us are living in darkness. Some of us have been living a life that can be considered a living hell. OH, there have been times of pleasure but that pleasure is fleeting. The Bible teaches us that there is pleasure in sin for a season but after that season there is death and decay and destruction. Your self-image, your life can be changed right now, as you let the blood of Christ Jesus cleans you. Someone reading this has never made Jesus Christ their personal savior and Lord. You may have come to the knowledge that Jesus is the Son of God and know that He died upon the cross to forgive you of your sins but you have never asked Him to live within your heart. Like the song says; because He lives I can face tomorrow, Because He lives all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, my life is worth the living, just because He lives. I invite you, no I beg you right now, to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Let Him be that shining light of love that brings hope to your world. Then there are those of us who have asked Jesus into our hearts and we know that He is Lord of our lives yet there is this cloud that hangs above you. There is a darkness that comes upon you as your self-image is distorted and you feel so all alone. It is time to change direction. Rather then continuing this spiral downward it is time to rise up, Rise Up, RISE UP, AND LET THE LIGHT THAT IS WITHIN YOU SHINE. Let the light of Christ shine in your life.. He who is the very image of God dwells within you. Know this one truth, that you are now born again and all things are become new. Speak life into your spirit; Faith comes by hearing, tell yourself the truth that you are loved. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. At night before you drift off to sleep meditate on the words of God. Tell yourself the truth that God so loved you, that He gave His only begotten son that your life would not be wasted but that you would have an abundant, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Letís pray together right now. Heavenly Father, forgive me of my sins. Forgive me of my rebellion and my selfish pride. I accept you Lord Jesus as my personal savior and Lord. Come into my heart. Clean up my life and make me worthy to come into the presence of God. Let you Light shine within me and give me hope in an abundant future. Thank you father God for your love for me. I give you my all and worship you in Jesus name Amen.