"Self-Esteem orChristEsteem? Developing a High View of God, a Biblical View of Others, and an Accurate View of Self
Marie Notcheva, Biblical Counselor Institute for Nouthetic Studies (INS)
Three Basic Questions:Who is God?
Who am I?
Who are other people?
What does Gods Word teach?
In Ed Welchs book, What Do You think of Me? Why should I care? he encourages the reader to consider their answers to these questions. While we know what the Bible teaches about Gods greatness, our dependence on Him, and the trap of fear of man (insecurity based on other peoples opinions of us), how we react and the thinking we fall into on a day-to-day basis reveals our practical theology what we really believe. This is what affects how we think and act.
What exactly is self esteem? Why does society teach us that we should esteem ourselves? Is there a sense in which what the world calls self esteem is actually healthy, since God loves us individually with an unconditional love?
What does our position in Christ have to do with how we view ourselves? How we view others?
How does GOD want us to see ourselves, and relate to His other children? In HIM we find our security and purpose. My goal for this short session is to get you thinking about how your position in Christ and view of God works together to have a truly biblical, gracious view of yourself and others. One not based on the worlds values.2
Who is God? I. The MAJESTY of God Psalm 93; 104"The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty... Thy throne is established from of old...II. The SOVEREIGN GodDefinition:Sovereignty means that God, as the ruler of the Universe, has the right to do whatever he wants. Further, he is in complete control over everything that happens. (Psalm 115:3; Daniel 4:35; Romans 9:20)
Most often mentioned in OT Job; 1 Chronicles; Psalms; Isaiah; Daniel. Also 2 Peter 1:16 says we were eyewitnesses to His MAJESTY in reference to Christ. Clearly a reference to Jesus Christ being God.
Who is God?III. The OMNIPOTENT (all-powerful) and OMNISCIENT (all-knowing) GodOmnipotent = unlimited authority. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (Rev. 19:6; KJV)Omniscient = His understanding is beyond measure (Psalm 147:5) and He knows everything (1 John 3:20
Goes along with His sovereign attributes; there is nothing too hard for Him ( Genesis 18:14) and nothing in all creation that is hidden from Him (Hebrews 4:13)17 Verses in Bible about Gods omniscience: Psalm 147:5; Proverbs 15:3; Romans 8:29; Isaiah 46:10; Job 37:16; John 3:1-36; Rev. 13:8; Eph. 1:4; Romans 8:29-30; Isaiah 45:7; Isaiah 1:1-31; Hebrews 6:4-6; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Cor. 12:1-31; Romans 12:1-21; Romans 9:1-33; Daniel 7:1-28.4
The Christians instincts of trust and worship are stimulated very powerfully by knowledge of the greatness of God. But this is knowledge which Christians today largely lack: and that is one reason why our faith is so feeble and our worship so flabby. We are modern people, and modern people, when they cherish great thoughts of themselves, have as a rule small thoughts of God. When the person in the church, let alone the person on the street, uses the word God, the thought is rarely of divine majesty.
- J. I. Packer, Knowing God
Who is God?IV. The UNCHANGING GodGods character, purposes, and Truth do not change. (Psalm 93:2; 102:26-27; James 1:17; 1 Samuel 15:29; Isaiah 40:6-8).
Gods SON does not change Hebrews 13:8
This should bring great comfort to the Christian! God is not unpredictable like some human fathers.
Heb. 13:7-8 - Rememberthose who led you, who spokethe word of God to you; and considering the[a]result of their conduct,imitate their faith.8Jesus Christisthe same yesterday and today and forever.Those NT teachers and OT prophets. Should be great comfort! We can rely solely on His Word; which is infallible and God-breathed not on changing expectations of society or other people. 6
Who is God?V. The LOVING God1. God IS love The one who does notlovedoes not knowGod, forGodislove. (1 John 4:8). 2. We are to be imitators of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1) the most important, central, crucial way we imitate Christ is by LOVING other PEOPLE. (John 13:35; 1 Thess. 1:9)3. God LOVES unbelievers (Mark 10:21; Luke 19) although they do not enjoy the benefits of fellowship with Him4. Love primarily not a feeling, but a commitment to the others best.5. The PERSONAL God relates to each on a personal level (Mary and Martha; Nicodemus John 3)
1 John 4 talks about the love that received from God we are to lavish on other people we are going to talk more about 1 John a little later, when we get into understanding our position in ChristLuke 19 weeping over the city that was about to crucify him.
Difference in His relationship with believers and unbelievers he loved us while we were still His enemies. Unbelievers are at enmity with God, yet He still loves them. He does not command us to do something He does not do Himself commands us to love our enemies.7
Who am I?I am a woman created by God in His image. My responsibility as Gods creation is to glorify Him and serve Him as He desires.
Even fallen man bears image of God; bears God-like qualities such as love, kindness, beauty.
Believers represent Christ (Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49)
Only humans have moral capacity. Wronging another is evil because we are made in the image of God.8
Who am I?How do I seek approval from others?
What is my true identity?
How does my position in Christ affect my self-esteem?
Who You Are in Christ:
- A Daughter of the King (Eph. 1:5)
- A forgiven sinner (Luke 7:48)
- Beautiful; precious to God (1 Pet. 3:4)
- Accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6)
- Gods work of art (Eph. 2:10) AND a work in progress (Phil. 1:6)
- Loved everlastingly (Jer. 31:3)
My Position in Christ1 John 2:5; 2:28; 3:24; 2:28; 5:20; etc.John is not talking about viewing our position in Christ as a way to meet our emotional needs. In Christ = our justified positionCarries with it the implication of obedience and being conformed to the character of Christ - not seeking to find meaning or personal fulfillment. If we truly are in Him, we will walk in the light (1 John 1:7), overcome the evil one (1 John 2:14, 4:4), and have fellowship with God and our fellow believers (1 John 1:3-7).
BANISHES INSECURITYContrast with term identity in Christ not biblical; comes from psychoanalyst Eric Ericksons Identity Needs theory. Stick to biblical terminology.
Who are Others?Do the opinions of others control my thoughts or behavior?
Do I fear disapproval or crave approval of others?
Do I seek ways to use other people to get my needs met?
May seem obvious that we would never use other people, but that subtle pragmatic view is instilled in us early in society. Advertising is by definition needs-oriented; targeted towards the individual. I need this or I deserve that.
Once went to speak to a middle school teacher about the concept of social health in the curriculum, and asked how she would define what is socially healthy since that is subjective; differs according to society. She said we want the kids to understand what their felt needs are, and how to use other people to meet those needs. I responded that in our family, we teach our kids to esteem others more highly than we do ourselves, and to look out for the needs of OTHERS before their own!12
Who are Others?Fellow image-bearers of God
Whom we are FREED to love without thought of reciprocation
When we stop viewing other people as bigger than God, we are freed to LOVE and SERVE them as Christ did!
Gods way out of the slavery of being controlled by other peoples opinions is to know Him, as He is revealed in Jesus, in such a way that other people will seem less awesome in comparison.
Being overwhelmed with Christs beauty breaks the slavery of being controlled by others.
At heart, we are all worshippers: The thing or person you trust in is actually the object of your worship. Look carefully and you will see that what started off as a small concern about the opinions of other people has been supersized (p. 39).Welch discusses how good, loving relationships can go bad by comparing the God-given human desire for love to a 500-lb. gorilla demanding to be fed (p. 51). Welch demonstrates how everyday desires for approval and love can become things we desire inordinately and lead to broken fellowship with God.Christianity, however, offers something much greater than simply absence of suffering or a vague harmony with the universe sought by Taoists. We are invited to know the Creator intimately as Father; be awed by His majesty; and love others freely without thought of reciprocation. Gods way out is to know Him, as He is revealed in Jesus, in such a way that other people will seem less awesome in comparison. Being overwhelmed with Christs beauty breaks the slavery of being controlled by others.
Does God Promote Self-Esteem?God..Condemns self-love 2 Timothy 3:2Isaiah 48:11Romans 1:22Psalm 8, What is man?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
The Fruit of Esteeming Self
Self-esteem is essentially sanctification by worth. Jay Adams
If we are fundamentally self-centered, and we are by nature but to give in to that