How do we view ourselves? Esteem can range from low to high. It is affected by many things such as our upbringing, what we tell ourselves about ourselves, criticisms from other people, events that have happened in our lives and in our surroundings, what other people say about us – whether they tell it to us or to other people; the list can go on and on.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, we internalize so many things, and that starts affecting us, whether positively or negatively. Most of the time we do things without considering the consequences. We do not stop to ask how that affects other people.
The world is full of chaos, and the outward chaos when internalized turns into inward chaos.
When the esteem of a person is low, usually that person considers other people better. We have a tendency to put other people above ourselves in an unhealthy way. We admire their lifestyle, their privileged background, their looks, their family, their achievements. Then, we put ourselves down. We listen to the lies other people tell us about ourselves. Other people start defining who we are, they judge us in a way that is not based on scripture.
Have we ever met people who just do not like us? We start asking ourselves, why don’t they like us? Did we do something wrong? Then in an effort to fit in we start mimicking their behavior, we want to be like them, we want them to like us, we want them to approve of us. In the process, we forget who we are. We run into confusion. The more we try the more we feel judged. Nothing seems to be enough. We regard ourselves as misfits. Our esteem goes lower and lower.
Yet, the truth is, we were not born to please people. We are to love one another and obey God.
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8.
We forget we have nothing to prove to people. When everything we do comes from a place of love, then what other people say or do will not throw us into turmoil. We will be steady. When we know we are doing the best we can and we are in God’s will, God bears us witness.
People pleasing is one of the greatest disservice to ourselves. People will never be satisfied, they always want more and more. We get depleted in the process. People pleasing steals our joy and throws us into a downward spiral. Then when we are down, people do not want anything to do with us. They start asking, what happened to that person? That person seems different nowadays! It is a lose-lose situation.
People will be our friends when we can offer them something then literally run away from us when we are facing trials. People will talk behind our backs. People will judge us and if we are not careful we will be ripped apart in the process.
Human nature is flawed. Those who walk by the flesh seek to satisfy their flesh and leave a trail of destruction to others, and then, to themselves in the long-run. God does not want us to put ourselves down so that others can feel big. We cannot effectively love our neighbor if we do not love God. Each one of us will be judged individually. Yes, we are to respect all authority, yet even so, those in authority will still be judged according to their words and actions. We are told to whom much is given, much is also required.
Let us all be on the watch lest we make our brothers or sisters fall.
But the one who unknowingly does things worthy of punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will also be required; and from him who has been entrusted with much, even more will be demanded. Luke 12:48.
We were all created unique and for a purpose. We are all different yet valuable in God’s eyes. Putting others down because they are not like us does a lot of harm. We should never allow others to define who we are because that instills in us a desire to conform. As long as we are walking according to God’s Word, we should not yield to negative external pressure to be someone we are not.
We give everyone what is owed to them, “Pay everyone what you owe him; taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due” Romans 13:7.
Everything we do has to be in alignment with God’s Word. In the end, the only thing we should owe each other is to love one another.
Who then determines our worth in this world? It is God. We find our worth in God. External appearances can be deceiving; dressing well, doing things to make ourselves look good, and such like things are all good. However, they do not define a person’s worth. We can look good on the outside but inside we are in turmoil. With God we gain an inner confidence that is unshakable. We become firm and steady. We acquire a gentle, calm, spirit.
When we know God personally, we find our identity, we get to know who we really are. We are not what we lie to ourselves about us, we are not what others say we are, we are not what culture or society says we should be; we are who God says we are. We are children of God created in His image and likeness.
We are all on a journey, trying to find our way. The Bible tells us two blind men cannot lead each other, they will both fall into a pit. Christ is the way, through Him we have life.
Yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12.
God is the only one who tells us who we are. He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will. Christ came and walked among men. He revealed to us the secrets of the kingdom. He was God’s sacrifice on our behalf, and through Him, we are made whole.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily from, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10.
We know where we came from and where we are going.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3.
Our worth is found and rooted in God. There is nothing or anyone who can steal it from us.
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