I (Justin) grew up with a pretty low self-esteem. Like most kids I wanted to feel valued; to be accepted by others; to feel good about myself. I got made fun of one summer when I was wearing shorts, and called “chicken legs”. I didn’t wear shorts for a few years after that. Self-esteem is a fickle thing. It isn’t something that either you have it or you don’t have…it comes and goes.
Sometimes when you have a high self-esteem it only takes one insult; one harsh word; one failure; one break-up; one tight fit in the dressing room; one lost job; one financial mistake to completely destroy your self-esteem. Self-esteem is easier to lose than it is to gain. People are driven by self esteem. There are books about how to raise your kids’ self-esteem. There are seminars about how to improve your self-esteem.
Lots of people making lots of money on how crappy we feel about ourselves.
Can I share something with you that has set me free and I think can set you free?
There is a huge difference between your self-esteem and your self-worth.
Self-esteem is conditional. Self-esteem factors in your brokenness. Self-esteem is your perception of you. Self-esteem gathers all of your hurt, all of your rejection, all of the lies you believe about yourself and allows you to rehearse those things over and over again in your mind. Self-esteem remembers the one insult you received last week and forgets the ten compliments you got. Self-esteem is an emotional roller coaster that leaves you never looking good enough; never being smart enough; never achieving enough; never accumulating enough.
Your self-worth is God given. Your self-worth is non-negotiable. Your self-worth is based not on who you are, but on who God is. Your self-worth can’t be taken away; it can’t be degraded; it can’t be robbed. Your self-worth was given to you before the creation of the world. Your attractiveness, your beauty, your weight, your complexion, your hair color, your smile, your body shape, your tax bracket, your employment status, your marital status, your past mistakes and failures have nothing to do with your self-worth. You are valuable for the single reason that you were created in the image and majesty of God.
You are valuable because God sees you as valuable.
How much would your life change if you stopped living out of your self-esteem and starting living out of your self-worth?
Christ didn’t die to give you higher self-esteem; He died to demonstrate your self-worth.