Professional people tell us that low self-esteem is a serious and wide spread problem affecting just about every strata and age level of our society. I believe it. Failure, unattractiveness, obesity, lack of formal education, feeling of not being needed, lack of confidence and the like are the culprits robbing many of a sense of worth. They produce feelings of inferiority and self-pity that can be detrimental to both sinner and saint — especially if the saint happens to be weak in faith.
Of all people, God’s people ought to have a lofty, yet humble sense of worth. In the first place, every man is a kinsman and offspring of the almighty God (Acts 17:29). That makes every individual special in a way that deserves appreciation. The “inward man” (2 Cor. 4:16) is fashioned after God’s own image (Gen. 1:27). As we have “fathers of our flesh,” we also have a “Father of spirits” (Heb. 12:9). There is within every man that which does not and cannot come from fleshly parents but only from our spiritual Father. What consolation to remember that this spirit shall one day “return unto God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). We should say, with the little boy pictured on a poster, “I know I’m SOMEBODY, ’cause God don’t make no junk!”
But, not only am I the offspring of God, I am the continual object of his love and concern. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your anxiety upon Him, because he careth for you” (1 Pet. 5:6,7) Yes, “God so loved the world…” but that means He loves YOU! Paul viewed it in personal terms when he says of Christ that He “loved me, and gave himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). So should we. And here’s something else God’s people need to remember. Since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), He sees you and me as His children and objects of His love as much as Paul, Timothy, Peter or any Old Testament worthy. As the popular writer, Francis Schaeffer put it, “With God there are no little people.” The question is not whether I am a great apostle, elder, preacher, or teacher, but whether I am glorifying God in my life, where I am, wit what I have, now? 1 Pet. 4:11 Many deceive themselves into thinking that they could do more for the Lord in some other place and at some future time if they only had more resources or talents. Being down of self causes one to think of “what might have been” and hinders possibilities of rewarding service now.
No person is worthless and viewing self as such is deceiving and hurtful. We have been redeemed at the greatest cost ever paid for anything, “with precious blood … even the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:19). We have a soul appraised by the Lord as being of inestimable worth (Matt. 16:26). In Christ we have been made truly rich (2 Cor. 6:10). DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IT?
To walk by faith is to recognize that apart from the Lord we are and can be nothing. But in Him, thanks be to God, we have a greatness that we need to remember, appreciate, and reflect in our daily living!
Dan S. Shipley