God Esteem or Self Esteem

Someone once said, best viagra nurse “What you do speaks so loudly, look I cannot hear what you say.”   This is a great statement of truth to consider when establishing loving relationships with others.  Actions speak louder than words.   But according to I Corinthians 13 (the great love chapter), I believe Paul would change this to say, “What you do with others in mind, speaks so loudly I can hear everything you say.”

Paul explains God’s highest goal (unconditional love) for us in terms of unselfish expressions, rather than acts of inspired word, distinguished knowledge, or observable faith (I Corinthians 13:2).   Putting others first, the heartbeat of unconditional love, does not mean to devalue one’s worth in the eyes of man or the presence of God.   The Lord created all of us in His image (Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:13-16); His thoughts toward us are precious and too many to count (Psalm 139): 17-18).    It is esteem that He wants us to have, a God-esteem.   But in the midst of this God given worth (which is counterfeited by errant man through the practice of worldly self-esteem), He wants us, in response, to value others even more so.   Paul wrote a full application of this when he encouraged the Philippians’ believers to regard others as more important than themselves (Philippians 2:3-5).   This was not to diminish their own value, but rather to elevate in their minds the value of others.

I Corinthians 13 plays a key role in not only defining the unselfish operative intended for all believers, but also calling into account the competitive controversies developed by the Corinthian believers, who took a gift of God and made it into a spiritual civil war, that in essence said, “Who’s value is foremost in the eyes of God?”  Amazingly, even today this dishonoring competitive battle (as described of the Corinthians) goes on. However, in this century, I Corinthians 13 becomes the text to elevate or depose certain spiritual gifts, like tongues, for the sake of… guess what? ….declaring,” I have more value than you.”    Even in the Christian realm this is called building self-esteem; it is the same social mechanism the world uses in assigning its competitive worth.   It is built on me first, those I love second, and all others a distant third.

God-esteem is different as I Corinthians 13 teaches.   It is built on God first, others second, and me third.    God promises that if we attune ourselves first to Him, and pursue the needs of others, He will in response put His full focus on us.   In other words, if you really want to be first, even selfishly so (God forbid) then put yourself in the third position (Matthew 19:30).

Parents, be careful how you build the esteem of your child.   Building God-esteem will bring a Godly   peace; building worldly self-esteem will bring a “meism” that will only result in conflict and unhappiness.  When you enroll your children into competition, sports for example, you may fall into the trap of   building worldly self-esteem, rather than Godly-esteem into your children’s character.   Worldly self-esteem makes statements like this:   “You are so much better than they,”  “You’ll show them who’s boss,” “No one is as good as you,”  “Live up to your family name.”  “Second place is for losers.”    All these subtle comments will implant within your children a worldly self-esteem that God neither honors nor confirms.  God-esteem is the only kind that works.

Teachable Moments

Since self-esteem seeks to build the “me” first priority, take time with your children and watch a sporting event either in person or on T.V.   An   NFL, NBA, MLB game will probably demonstrate self-esteem victories and disappointments of the kind your children will likely encounter.  As you watch one of these competitive contests, have your children note the self-exaltation or taunting that goes on between athletes when a play is made or missed. You might see a flamboyant self-exalting dance performed in an end zone in front of millions of viewers.   These self-celebrating demonstrations are the heart of the worldly self-esteem philosophy today, which says, “I have value” even at your cost.   To further your point, have your children dramatically role-play the self-proclaiming antics of the athletes they see.   Then ask them to recreate what they have dramatized, accept, on the second go around, with the principles of I Corinthians 13 in mind.   What would an athlete do for example, if he really took seriously the challenge “love does not brag, seek its own, or does not exhibit jealousy?   Summarize your lesson by listing all the observations your children have made.   Put these observations above the T.V. titled SELF- ESTEEM OR GOD-ESTEEM.

Word of God

1 Cor. 13:2 and if I have {the gift of} prophesy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Gen. 1:27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Ps. 139:13 ¶ For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.

Ps. 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.

Ps. 139:15 my frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, {And} skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.

Ps. 139:16 Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained {for me}, When as yet there was not one of them.

Ps. 139:17 ¶ How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Ps. 139:18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with Thee.

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;

Phil. 2:4 do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Phil. 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

Matt. 19:30 “But many {who are} first will be last; and {the} last, first.

1 Cor. 12:4 ¶ Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1 Cor. 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

1 Cor. 12:25 that there should be no division in the body, but {that} the members should have the same care for one another.