Self Esteem Highs and Lows
What is a healthy self image?
In American culture, high self-esteem is seen as being the basis for career success and good relationships with other people.Feeling good about oneself is presented as a highly desirable goal that is worth sacrificing for.
Low self-esteem is obviously undesirable.
If our focus is on our own failures and inadequacies, we'll be immobilized by self-pity or self-hatred.
High self-esteem is equally undesirable, however, and that can be seen in its effects.
High self-esteem means comparing your value to others' and finding yourself superior. It makes us arrogant, selfish, and difficult to be with.
Families are torn apart as the members work to feel better about themselves, ignoring the cost.
Recognizing the undesirability of too high or too low an opinion of ourselves, many of us try for a middle ground. Unfortunately, it's an unstable position.
We oscillate between feeling good about ourselves and feeling bad. Our successes elevate our self-esteem, and our failures (or sometimes others' successes) lower it. It's a roller-coaster ride.
If high self-esteem isn't good, low self-esteem isn't good, and middling self-esteem is impossible, what are we to do?
We need to get off the roller-coaster altogether. We need to stop trying to determine our own worth. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others.
We are not in a position to judge our own value - or anyone else's.
We can't see ourselves or others accurately. Lives are far too complicated, and we are far too biased - whether for or against ourselves.
What I think about myself really has no meaning at all - and it changes from day to day anyway.
What matters is who I actually am, who I am in the eyes of the one who created me.
It's God's view of me that matters, and in his eyes I'm unique, irreplaceable, and deeply loved. You are too.
Knowing that God values you gives you absolute, unshakable value. It gives you a stable, healthy esteem for yourself and for others equally.
But how can we know that God values us?
How can you know that he values you, in particular?
You must seek him out: when you sense His presence, you'll know his love.
Pure love is God's trademark.