Written by Jonathan Gamble / October 2018
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
A large majority of anyone who happens to be reading this has probably had this passage memorized since they were about 8 years old. We’ve all heard it time and time again ever since then, outlining God’s love for us and the main idea of our faith in whole, really. I’d like to use this passage to shed a light on what can be a more difficult issue for people: self esteem.
The main idea we should be able to draw from this passage for this topic isn’t too hard to find. We are all a part of the world. Therefore we can draw from this that God loved us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His Son to save us from the punishment we all deserve. God sacrificed the life of His Son, who was completely perfect, to redeem you and me. How great His love is for us! With that in mind, why would we ever hate ourselves?
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
-2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Maybe we are compelled to hate ourselves because of our weaknesses. I know that I can get down on myself sometimes when I fail at something or when I give in to temptations and fail to glorify God. That’s why I love this passage so much. It’s the ultimate consolation for us. Whatever our shortcomings are, spiritual or otherwise, God’s power and love make up for it.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
-1 Samuel 16:7
This passage, about the anointing of King David, further outlines that we should not care about the world’s standards for physical appearance. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the Lord, and although sin corrupts our bodies, He loves us however we look.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me; that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.”
The majority of this article is about seeing ourselves the way God sees us, and that applies to having too much self-pride as well. This passage clearly and effectively outlines to us that we should not be too proud of our own gifts and accomplishments, because they are not our doing. Our abilities and talents are blessings from the Lord, so rather than having self-pride because of them, we should be humble and praise the Lord.