Guest Post by Desirae Shawn
I’ve done my share of reading books, listening to tapes and attending seminars (predominantly secular) to boost my self-esteem or self-confidence. But I’ve recently began to question certain philosophies and methods. More so, wonder if they are in alignment with God’s view.
The world or media does a fantastic job of showing us how to achieve the perfect body or gain unfathomable wealth.. These messages convince us we’re not good enough or we need more.
Several times throughout the Bible, especially in the days of creation, God mentions of how man was made in his own image and likeness. Well, if God was and still is the only perfect being and he created us, aren’t we already good enough? In fact, if we are made in his image, aren’t we better than any worldly fad that touts beauty, skill or importance?
I am not suggesting we aren’t allowed to have nice things, exercise to keep ourselves in shape or take the time to master a skill. I merely suggest that if our underlying motive is comparison with others and that affects the way we live or view ourselves, then our esteem is not that of God’s.
God created each of us with certain strengths and weaknesses to fulfill his purpose for our lives. Nick Vujicic is the perfect modern day example of a Christian who doesn’t meet the world’s standard of looking perfect, but is doing a perfect job of letting God use him. You can read his story here.
In Genesis 3:11 after God told Moses his will for him, Moses replied, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” “Who am I…?” It’s as if Moses is asking, “Why me, for I am not qualified for such a task?” I imagine Moses was afraid of what God asked of him, but I believe there is more here.. I believe Moses lacked self-confidence, which made him the perfect person for the job. His lack forced him to place his confidence and trust in God instead of within himself. Moses learned from the very beginning that he had to rely more on God’s strength and power and not just of his own.
The story of David and Goliath is one of my son’s favorite stories. He rejoices in knowing that a young boy slew such an evil giant. Another beautiful aspect is that you can feel David’s confidence as he faced Goliath. Not confidence within his own abilities, but confidence in being used to fulfill God’s plan.
Self-confidence is defined as confidence in oneself or one’s own abilities. All too often, I have been overly confident in myself and have not given glory where it’s due…to God. On the flipside, I have lacked the self-confidence I thought I needed instead of placing my confidence in its rightful place. This has resulted in me not fulfilling his will. Both are unfortunate behaviors with unfortunate consequences.
Esteem and confidence has its place. However, I think I need to take myself out of the way and put God back where he belongs. I believe if I can keep this in mind, then one day I’ll be able to “lead the Israelites” or “slay a giant” as well.