Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie – Part 3

This is Part 3 of the series titled, “Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie.” In part one we went over the definition of self-esteem and covered the first three points of the definition in contrast to God’s word. In part two we finished the final point of self-esteem and I told you a story about Mrs. Thirsty. I ended by saying that self-esteem is a clever way of disguising sinful and destructive pride. If you missed the first two parts of this series, please go back and listen to them before you listen to this concluding part.

self esteem lie God loves you

What Self-Esteem Really Means

Let’s summarize the definition of self-esteem again since we are going to address the sin connected with it.

Self-esteem is the idea that I am able to competently deal with the challenges of life and that I think it is natural for me deserve success, achievement, fulfillment, and happiness. The simple way of defining self-esteem is thinking I am awesome at dealing with life, and I deserve all the good things coming to me.

Now let’s take a look at the first and most basic definition of “pride” according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary.

“Pride is a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by others.”

You see what I did there? Pride and self-esteem have the same basic meaning. I am tempted to go off on a rant about the ambiguity of the English language and how we use the word pride to mean different things. When your child does something well, you say you are “proud” of them, but that isn’t the same kind of pride we are talking about. But I will refrain from my rant and simply say that the word pride in the bible is never in reference to feeling joy on the behalf of others, the way we use it in English. Read more

Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the series titled, “Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie.” In part one we went over the definition of self-esteem and covered the first three points of the definition in contrast to God’s word. If you haven’t listened to part one I highly recommend you listen to or read it before getting into part two, and with that recommendation, let’s get started on the fourth point of the definition of self-esteem.

self-esteem circular reasoning

Is Worldly Fulfillment Natural?

4. Self-esteem is also the experience that success, achievement, fulfillment – happiness – are right and natural for us.

I’m just going to address one thing on this list, because it is the most important. Worldly fulfillment. Is fulfillment right and natural for us?

There isn’t any specific verse that tells us, “God made you to desire Him, and if you don’t turn to Him, you will have an empty and miserable life, no matter what you do.” But we do see stories of famous people, people that have it all, committing suicide or overdosing on drugs they are taking to numb the painful emotions they feel. Worldly objects and worldly relationships just can’t fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts, can they? This reminds me of one of my favorite stories in the bible. Jesus is doing something He was always doing, looking for lost people that needed Him. He was at a Samaritan well, during the hottest part of the day, a big no-no at the time and in that culture, and he encounters a woman. Let’s go straight to the text in John 4:6-18:

“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” Read more

I’ll Never Say It’s Ok

Today I was working away in the kitchen, making tomato sauce, peanut butter, and smoothies at the same time. I guess I was so busy I didn’t notice a little intruder make his way past the baby gate fortress into my thicket of house maker taskmaster solitude. I looked down just in time to see Timo reaching his hand towards a mop bucket of boiling hot water. When I saw what he was about to do I screamed, “NOOOO!” as loudly as I could. He was in danger, and I needed to be as forceful as needed to prevent him from getting hurt. If I could have reached I would have pushed him away from the water bucket, but thankfully he heard the tone of mommy’s voice and backed away. He looked at me for an explanation and I told him, “It is very hot!” He said, “uuu hot” (he says uuu for it). Then he walked over for me to pick him up and take him out of the kitchen.

We’re Getting Closer

As we get closer to our Lord and Savior coming, this world is getting more and more dangerous. There is a specific danger that many societies used to be more aware of, but as time progresses it becomes more and more acceptable in it’s various forms and frequencies. That danger is sin. As Christians we are called to share about the danger of sin. Just as I was not about to willingly condone Timo getting third degree burns, Christians are supposed to warn the people around them about the dangers of sin. What is so dangerous about sin, you might ask. God’s holy word tells us that, “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death,” in James 1:15. Hopefully we are also familiar with this verse, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” from Romans 6:23. Sin is so dangerous because it leads to death, which can also be stated as eternal separation from our Eternal Father in heaven. Sin leads to the worst possible thing that could ever happen to any human being, eternal separation from God. Let me just state the obvious here, which is that if you are separated from God for all of eternity, that means you will be spending eternity suffering in hell (Matthew 25:31-46). I know most of you know that, but I wanted to make sure not to gloss over that very important destination.

When God tells us not to sin in the bible, it is because He loves us and He knows how destructive sin is to our souls (and many times physical bodies). He is warning us!!! As Christians it is our duty to warn others about the danger and destruction of sin. Let me remind you that Satan, “The their does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” In the rest of John 10:10 Jesus offers that He represents the opposite, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

That is why, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I will never, ever, tell someone it is ok to continue in sinful behavior. Whether that is an adulterous lifestyle, drunkenness, gossip, or whatever other sin the bible teaches us about. If I am loving someone the way Christ demands that I do (Romans 13:9), then I can never tell them it is ok for them to continue in behavior or activity that will hurt them, and possibly keep them from entering into a redemptive relationship with Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean I can’t warn them in a loving way. If I am going to go around calling people out on their sin simply because they are sinners, and I have no love for them in my heart, I’m not any better than the Pharisees that Jesus confronted.

This week in the media there have been two stories revolving around two popular bands in Christian circles, Switchfoot and Jars of Clay. Switchfoot (who does not even call themselves a Christian band, although their fruits speak for themselves that these guys are obviously Christian) has been getting harassed by protestors claiming that they are going to hell because they sing rock and roll music. Their response? Jon Foreman takes water bottles out to the protestors and tells the band’s fans to show these protestors love, keeping in mind that is what Jesus taught. Then we have Jars of Clay’s lead singer, Dan Haseltine took to twitter to show his support of gay marriage and implied that those that didn’t agree with his supportive stance were ignorant, tweeting back and forth saying things like, “Could there be something to learn from them {the LBGT community}? Or are we passed the ability to learn?” But I think the bigger issue is that Mr. Haseltine is missing the point, because by encouraging someone to continue in a life of sin, you aren’t loving them. I don’t want to start a huge discussion about homosexuality and Christianity at this moment, but I will say that I love homosexual people, and I care enough about them to tell them the truth, without being hateful or judgmental, because of that love for them. I’m a sinner too after all. Jesus loves all sinners, and He came down to earth and was tortured and sacrificed His life to get that message out! As a sinner that was dead in my trespasses and miserable living in a life of sin, I cannot tell you how much that means to me personally.

And that is why I’ll never say it’s ok to sin. Because if I love you, I just can’t tell you that.

When someone is about to stick their hand into boiling hot water, I am going to warn them. That doesn’t mean all I do is bring up people’s short comings, well all have them. I have many friends that are unbelievers, and my main goal is simply to love on them and let my life and actions be a witness for Jesus Christ. However, when I see a friend or family member involved in some kind of destructive behavior, I am going to point it out to them as lovingly as possible.

Sacrificing For A Real Relationship

God’s timing is also very important and I rely on the Holy Spirit to tell me when I should speak up. We also have to establish trust with people before they will be willing to listen to our warnings. My son understands that I love him and I was warning him because I cared about him. He wanted to know why I yelled like I did, and he responded to my warning by listening and asking me to pick him up. This is possible because we have a relationship. He trusts me. If you really care about being an effective witness for Jesus that can speak into people’s lives, you first have to be willing to invest in a real relationship with them. Make whatever sacrifices you can to show them that you love them like Christ loves the church, with no strings attached. Then when the time comes, be bold and speak truth in love.

So here is my encouragement for all of us as Christians:

We need to be warning people, in love, and in God’s timing, that their sin is killing them.

Sincerely,

Kristin

P.S. In case you are interested in some amazing and encouraging words, check out the utmost.org excerpt for today here.