Do you ever question your worth? Low self-esteem is based on what you believe about yourself. You may have received negative messages from your parents, your friends, or your spouse — which may have caused you to feel worthless. No matter the cause for your low self-esteem, God does not make junk. He places great value on you. In fact, He sent his Son to die for your sins because of his desire to know you and make you part of his family!
In his book The Search for Significance, Robert McGee writes that there are false beliefs behind low self-worth:
- When I fail at something, I feel lousy about myself.
- When others don’t approve of me, I can’t seem to get over it.
- Sometimes it feels like I’ll never measure up.
- I’m so hopeless.
These beliefs are contrary to Scripture and will prevent your self-worth from growing. You must challenge these beliefs with God's truth. Christ proclaims the following facts about who you are as his child, as his servant, and as his friend. When you are a Christian — someone who has trusted fully in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and repented from sin — you have a brand new identity in Christ!
Do you believe what Jesus says about you? Or do you believe the lies that cause low self-esteem?
Here's what God says about you:
- "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12
- “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
- "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:13-21
- “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43
- “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
- “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14
What do these verses tell you about your identity?
- You are a child of the God of the universe because you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
- Christ lives in you and you live in Christ.
- When you allow Jesus to have control of your life, you will produce valuable works which glorify God.
- Jesus will hear your prayers and answer them.
- The Father and the Son love you.
- You have forgiveness and eternal life because of your relationship with God through faith.
What more validation can a person want than to have the approval, love, forgiveness, and inheritance of our Lord Jesus Christ?
This must take pre-eminence in your life. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. What he says is true, no matter what anyone else says or does, no matter what thoughts are running through your brain.
When you grow in this understanding of who you are in Christ, you can let go of wrong thinking or any rejection from others. You can rise above the "blues" of depression and say with the psalmist, “Why are you so downcast O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? For I will yet praise him – my Savior and my Lord” (Psalm 42:5).
When you believe that you are valuable in God’s sight — you will start acting like it. You will assert yourself and set boundaries so people will treat you with the dignity someone made in God’s image deserves.
Maybe you have been looking for your identity in the approval of others. Maybe you've been looking for it in your performance and role at work or at home. Now is the time to transition from finding your identity in what you do to finding out who you are in Christ!
Here are some facts about your new identity:
- You are now a child of God and part of God’s family (John 1:12).
- You are a new creation in Christ. The old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- You have been justified by faith in Christ and have peace with God…. Thus, you no longer have to work to try to make yourself right before God (Romans 5:1).
- You have been completely forgiven through faith in Christ and his death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:7).
- You are completely loved by God in Christ (Romans 5:8, John 17:23, John 3:16).
- You are “in Christ” (John 17:21, Colossians 3:3).
- You are on your way to heaven (John 3:16, John 3:36).
- Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39).
- The Holy Spirit now indwells you forever (John 14:16, Ephesians 1:14).
- You have a new purpose in life — to live for Christ and to know his love and share it with others (Philippians 1:21, Philippians 3:13-14, Colossians 2:6-7).
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:14-16.
In other words, concentrate now on living fully for Christ. In living fully for Christ you will find: strength and hope for living; new meaning for your life and a new identity; an eternal perspective when you feel troubled by the changes in your life. Your faith can bring you hope in the midst of the circumstances and people around you and a joy — even when life disappoints you — because Jesus loves you and will carry you through.
#####© Copyright 2004 by Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC, Marriage and Family Counselor with CounselCare Connection and National Certified Counselor, Registered Profesional Nurse and Anger Management Specialist. Lynette Hoy is the co-author of What’s Good About Anger? and a speaker for community, women’s and church organizations.#####