Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Mid-Week Message - The Struggle of Self-Esteem

"See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!  But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know him."  1 John 3:1  (NLT)

A couple of weeks ago I told the story of how my daughter was bullied in school and how much anguish she went through because of it.  Another of the experiences she had to endure was being yelled at and belittled in her Physical Education class.  After employing teachers who believed the class should be a fun time, the school hired a young man whose primary focus was on running.  His theory was that "all children can be successful by running."  Now, my child inherited her mother's lack of athletic talent.  Just as running was not an activity that I excelled at, neither was it for her.  This teacher not only allowed the other girls in the class to yell at her but also repeatedly told her his theory that she could be successful because every other child was.  This deepened the hurt that she felt by making her believe that she was in competition with every other child in the world and coming in dead last.

Self-esteem is something many of us struggle with.  When we compare ourselves to those around us, it is easy to find ourselves lacking.  There will always be those that are in better physical condition, wear nicer clothing, drive nicer vehicles or live in nicer homes.  Since I am female I know that girls compare hair, makeup, figures and relationships and allow their perceived deficits to change how they feel about themselves.  But our comparisons often don't stop there.  We carry them into our Christian lives and see ourselves as less spiritual than others.  When that happens we can sometimes find it more difficult to go before the Lord because we think He will know we don't measure up.

I want to assure you that no where in the Bible does it say that Jesus came to die only for those who were worth it.  There were not two lists at the cross.  Genesis tells us that we were all created in God's image and Psalm 139 teaches that He was with us while we were being formed in our mothers' wombs.  When Jesus left Heaven to come to this earth, He came for all of us, not just the elite or the attractive or the most spiritual.  When He was enduring a violent, tragic death, we were all on His mind.  He loves each us exactly as we are.  John 3:16 says "everyone who believes will not perish but have eternal life."  That is all inclusive.  No competitions.  No one is chosen over another.

As long as we keep our eyes on the things of this world we will continue to feel that we don't measure up in one area or another.  When we begin to look to our Father and search His Word to see how He views us, then the way we see ourselves will be transformed.  No longer will it matter that someone else can run faster than us.  What will be most important will be the Savior who gave up everything out of His great love for us and we will be reminded that we are His.  God bless.

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