In many ways, what the world calls self-esteem is pride. It is formed from one’s opinion about self-worth without regard for who God says we are. Who gave us the sovereignty to determine our value? Truly this right belongs to God alone—the Creator, the Author of life.
Colossians 1:15-16 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Many describe pride as being over-confident. The outwardly arrogant nature of my pride leads to bragging, boasting, selfishness, and an overly-defensive personality. These attitudes are not caused by too much self-confidence but by a lack of knowing the agape love (steadfast love) of Father God. People walking in pride are constantly trying to prove themselves to themselves—and others—because they are filled with shame, desperate for acceptance and affirmation, and do not know love.
When we understand who we are in Christ there is no longer a need to brag, boast, make demands, cling to self-centered expectations, or respond defensively to others. There is no longer a need to tear others down in order to build ourselves up. The solution for low self-esteem is not high self-esteem, but the love and truth of God. The Father knows everything we do, every step we take, even the hairs of our head are numbered.
The soul whose heart is melted by the love of the Father no longer has a need to “prove” anything. He who knows that God “has got him” no longer has a need or desire to exalt self or look down on others to make himself feel better, and he no longer has a need to react in the flesh when someone criticizes, curses, or offends him. He becomes so free from himself, he is free from others. He isn’t hurt by others, he hurts for others—because he views them through the eyes of God.
Brothers and sisters, we belong to Abba; God did not give us a spirit of fear but power and love and sound mind. We find our identity in Christ, seeking humility, bearing all things, counting others as more significant. We can unclench our fists to admit when we are wrong, and let go of the pride that binds.
We shouldn’t have self-esteem, we should have Christ-esteem. Our worth comes from the Everlasting Father and He says we are precious, honored, and He loves us. My identity is anchored to my position (sonship) and purpose (glorify God) in Christ. Every soul is precious to God, not wanting any to perish; any effort to perform for God is like a filthy garment. Being free from performance—that is freedom. God loves us because He loves us because He loves us–because love is His nature. Let go of performing for God and bask in His love for you—believe who He says you are.
Does a son perform for his father in order to receive love? No, but because of the father’s love the son delights in pleasing him. And because you are sons and daughters, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Religion says, “I obey, therefore I am accepted.” Christianity says, “I am accepted, therefore my desire is to obey.” Can you see the difference? One is driven by fear, the other by love.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
Pride flows out of a person who is insecure and so he over-compensates with attitudes and behaviors that exalt self and put others down. But God says we are sons and have security, value, and purpose in Christ. Do you believe Him?
Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!””
The man who experiences the love of God is unshakable but the man who doesn’t is unpredictable.
Someone with an improper evaluation of self puts himself on a scale and measures himself against others. This makes him feel inferior to some and superior to others. The more inferior he feels the more he is tempted to exalt himself and demean others to move himself up the scale in the eyes of others.
2 Corinthians 10:12 “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”
Pride is ruling our hearts when we compare ourselves with others; anytime we measure ourselves with the knowledge, appearance, character, gifts, abilities, wealth, possessions, status, personality, and circumstances of others.
Low self-esteem results from comparing yourself to others. Pride comes from comparing yourself to others. You can’t have one without the other. The world tells us to take pride in ourselves—but it is impossible to take pride in ourselves without comparing ourselves to, and judging others.
A person with a healthy self-valuation is secure and content to be what God made them to be. He has a healthy self-worth because he knows God loves him and created him in His image, and through Christ has made him holy and a new creation.
Let go of comparing yourself to others. There is no need to compare yourself with others anymore because we are equally loved by God, equally sinful before God, equally savable through Christ, and equally able to bring glory to God. Believe who God says you are and overcome the false beliefs and temptation to act pridefully.
Another name for low self-esteem is pride.