What Do You Do If You Lack Self-Esteem?

We, as people, often find who we are in what we do.  We determine our worth and value by our accomplishments.  This can be good because it pushes us to strive to do our best.  But what do you do if you have a rough week at work?  What do you do if you don’t do so well on a test at school?  By placing who we are in what we do, we can easily question ourselves if we have a rough week.

We, as people, not only find our identity in what we do, but we often find who we are based on what others say or think about us.  The people we hold important in our lives influence the way we view ourselves.  If we are around people that show they care about us, we don’t question our worth or value.  But if we have people in our lives that often point out our faults, we can begin to question ourselves. 

I find myself in one of these places quite often.  I am either holding to what someone thinks of me or holding to what I accomplish to determine my worth.  This is not a good place to be.  It seems to be a continuous spiral of self-doubt.

How do you get out from either of these places? How do you prevent it in the first place? The simple answer to both of these is to find your worth in God.  Rather than finding who you are in what you do, find your identity in Whose you are.  Rather than finding your worth in what others say, find your value in what God thinks about you.

On KLove radio station, I heard Pastor Levi Lusko talk about this very topic.  He mentioned Psalm 23.  He said, “Let’s look at how David describes himself in this psalm.  How does he describe himself?  As a sheep.  Why is that?  Let’s not miss something big here.  David describes himself as a sheep because he sees God as his Shepherd.  David knew who God was, and as a result, David knew who he was.”  David knew God, his Creator, and therefore, he understood who he was.  David found his identity, his worth, his value, in God.

How do we find our identity in God?  I believe the first step is to begin to better understand who God is.  In the example with David, he knew God as his shepherd, therefore he saw who he was in light of who God was.  I believe this same principle can be applied to our lives.  In order to fight self-doubt, we must first learn more of who our Creator is.  After all, we were created in His image (Genesis 1.26-27). 

What does this practically look like?  I’d say it looks like reading our Bibles more.  It looks like digging in deep to what the Bible says about God and how it describes God’s character.  It’s looking at the stories of the Bible that we know.  A few Old Testament examples include: Noah’s Ark, Abraham, Joseph and his coat of many colors, Joshua and the battles for the Promised Land, the stories of the kings of Israel, and the times of the prophets.  If we take the time to look back at these moments, we can see more of God’s character.  God showed His wrath in the days of Noah, but He also showed mercy and grace to Noah and his family.  God was faithful to Joseph and sustained him during his trials.  God went before the Israelite armies and brought them victory.

Just as we can look at the Old Testament to see God’s character, we can look at the New Testament as well.  The Gospel specifically demonstrates God’s love and faithfulness to provide a way of salvation for mankind.  When we combine the Old and New Testaments, we see God’s unfailing faithfulness to bring forth His plan of salvation from Genesis 3 to the Gospels.  We see God continuing His plan to lead to the birth of Jesus the Savior of the world. 

Once you begin to learn Whose you are, how do you begin to find your worth in what He thinks of you?  I think once we seek to learn more of who God is, we begin to see who we are.  Just like the example with David, He saw how he was like a sheep because he understood God as his Shepherd.  I think by looking at God’s faithfulness to bring forth His plan for the salvation of mankind, we will begin to see just how much God cares not just for us, but for everyone.  God worked throughout human history, to bring forth a way for us to be with Him in harmony.  What more love can you ask for?

The Gospel demonstrates God’s love and what He thinks of us.  He cares so much about us and wants us so much.  In order for us to be with Him, He came to pay the penalty for our sins, in order that we could be with Him.  If you want to know what God thinks of you, look at what He has done for you in the Gospel.

Photo Credit:   Elijah Hiett

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