Self-Esteem or Esteeming Christ?
Our culture is saturated with classes, seminars, and retreats dedicated to the topic of self-esteem, but it seems the very air we breathe is thick with the dissatisfaction we feel for our lives and ourselves. This question resounds through the psyche of society—why is it the more we value our stuff, the less we value ourselves? Society at large has attempted, with a futile vigor, to put a price on happiness so we will keep wanting more, buying more, and striving more to fill a void that nothing temporal can fill.
The message brazenly splashed across billboards and littering most marketing campaigns and advertisements is that we will feel more valuable if we look better, dress better, and own better. So we try to go to better schools, get better jobs, and buy ourselves better bodies to obtain the self-esteem and self-worth we think is so aptly portrayed in the images around us.
Sadly, low self-esteem is an epidemic even most Christians have suffered from at one time or another. So how in the world can we help our worlds shield themselves from the bombardment of incessant images of artificial happiness for which we constantly empty our own hearts and pockets? The preventative measure lies within the value we place, not on ourselves, but on Calvary. The value we place on the Cross is directly related to the value we place on ourselves. Truly seeking to understand the price paid for our eternal happiness will discontinue the inane notion that we can buy our own.
With His sacrifice, Jesus rendered the price tag on our souls unaffordable by any other means or method but His priceless life! You couldn’t make yourself any more valuable if you tried! You couldn’t add any more beauty to the brilliant beauty his love has already placed upon you. “Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices” (Song of Solomon 4:10).
You couldn’t wear any clothes more ornate or expensive than the garments of salvation He has already purchased for you. “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).
You couldn’t make yourself any wealthier than the inheritance He has already laid up for you. “And we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay” (1 Peter 1:4 NLT).
Finally, you could never add any more meaning to your life than the purpose He has custom-designed for you! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
It’s only when we take ourselves out of the equation and seek to esteem Jesus, holding His sacrifice in higher regard than anything else, will we find the fulfillment for which we yearn. Our quest for self discovery, self-esteem, and self-worth will finally end when we truly find ourselves in Him!