“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” –Anonymous
Let’s be honest..we all have had a season (or longer) when we struggled with low-esteem. One of my lowest lows was walking out of a Houston hospital, front-teeth missing and in severe kidney-stone pain (See more in my blog, “Why is Life so Complicated?“) I felt stripped of one of the things I had placed my identity in: ME. Until then, I never realized how much faith I had placed in my outward appearance. Without front teeth for a painstaking 6 weeks, I struggled to go anywhere. I didn’t want anyone to see me at the grocery store. I lost my smile in hopes no one would ask “What happened?” I found myself trying to hide, not wanting to be noticed.
We become ineffective when we try to hide
Wikipedia says self-esteem “reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.” I hope you picked up on the key word “subjective.” One can deflate their worthiness for a myriad of reasons and when we do, we lose our effectiveness as the “salt and light” of this world. However, you must come to believe that regardless of your circumstances or what you have been led to believe…you matter. You just stinkin’ do.
God loves you for who you are, not what you do
But regardless of what led us to believe we are not measuring up…it is difficult to get our feet back on solid ground. Here are some Biblical truths to help you on your way:
1. A closed door is an opportunity to try something new. It is a time to reflect and reconsider the events surrounding you. Is God leading you in a new direction? Or maybe you need to do some self-evaluation. Is God pointing out some sin to you?
"And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open." Isaiah 22:22
2. You can learn from your past mistakes and failures. Yes, we all fall down. We do. But successful people pick themselves up and get going again. Regardless of your past, you have a future awaiting you. No one has gone too far past God’s gracious arms.
"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you." Song of Solomon 4:7
3. God loves imperfect people. YEAH! Because this means He loves you and me too. He looks past our imperfections, failures, cellulite, wrinkles and bummed-up knees. He knows our bodies are withering away. Thankfully, our wrecked, messy lives serve as a reminder that we are a people who need a Savior.
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1
4. Emotions cannot be trusted…they toss and turn with the wind. Put your feet on solid ground. God’s Word is truth and it is the only thing on this earth with lasting value. Rather than trusting and believing social media as truth, plant yourself in God’s Word.
"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
5. Retrain your brain to think about the positives, rather than focusing on the negative. It may take some practice and determination…but here is how this works. Every time a negative thought pops in your brain, such as “I can’t do that” or “I’m not good enough to be their friend,” replace it with a Scripture verse. Do some digging in the ultimate treasure book. There are some amazing truths awaiting you!
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8
6. Do something for someone else. You may be surprised how looking out for someone else’s behalf rather than yourself actually brings you great joy.
"and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:27-28
7. God looks at the inside. Focus on within and the exterior beauty will naturally follow. The most beautiful people I know are those who are wholeheartedly serving Him.
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30
Lord, I do believe you love me in spite of how I feel or what others may say. I am loved. I am redeemed. You call me by name. Help me with my unbelief. Amen.
What verses help you conquer a low self-esteem?