You Can’t Fake Self-Esteem

I once heard a very prominent person say that feeling good is everything. At the time it came across my ears, I truly felt it was one of the most striking statements I’d ever heard. I felt this way because I had spent a good deal of my life feeling bad, and I never looked upon the notion of feeling good as a right. It also occurred to me that I had not viewed it as a possibility. Years ago, I wasn’t enlightened enough to say that I had low self-esteem. I knew that I wanted others to like me and respond to me positively. I thought the way to accomplish this was to minimize myself in a way that made others comfortable and less likely to criticize me. As the years progressed, it became apparent that my desire to make others comfortable around me was making me uncomfortable in my own skin. That had to change.

Low self-esteem is generally characterized by a lack of confidence and feeling badly about oneself. As the prevalence of self-awareness has grown, the term has become very widely used. It’s a sad predicament when the symptoms of low self-esteem—feeling unlovable, incompetent, and less-than—are so common that millions of us have diagnosed ourselves with it. We accept ‘feeling bad’ as part of the human experience, but when it becomes a way of life, there is a real danger. We make ‘feeling bad’ part of our identities, and we do this because we don’t believe there’s a viable alternative. For some people, treatment is necessary and feeling better has to come from a prescription, but this isn’t true for everyone.

For some of us, feeling bad is rooted in feeding our souls the wrong food, and we’d rather fake it than accept this truth. But no matter how you try to fake it, feeling crummy at such a deep level effects your core. Those feelings camp-out and make themselves comfortable when we believe the wrong information about who we really are. God tells us in Ephesians 2:10 that we are His masterpieces, created brand new in Christ so that we can do all the good things He’s planned for us. Low self-esteem will tell us the exact opposite. This is a spiritual problem, and the fix requires spiritual surgery.

Wires get crossed by believing the wrong things, and when those wires become deeply imbedded, we don’t know how to uncross them. We run the risk of being conformed to what society says, when God tells us in Romans 12:2 to be transformed by renewing our minds to what He says about us. Only God knows us through and through. He’s our Creator, and He knows us as intimately as we can be known. The wonderful thing is that He desires us to feel good way more than we could ever desire it for ourselves. He’ll shine a light in our dark places if we’ll let Him.

An arrogant person is one who refuses wisdom, neglects the Source of it, and foolishly believes they don’t need to seek it. It is the one thing that a person with low self-esteem can never afford to be. Feeling bad about yourself is akin to feeling small—of devaluing your ability, potential, and worthiness. It is a level of feeling that is so low, we forget to look up. To look up is to look to God for what we need. In Luke 11:9(NLT), Jesus Christ said, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” The Master has informed us that asking, seeking, and knocking are actions that must be persistent. They are habits required to replace repression, backwardness, and apathy.

Most people will say that low self-esteem can be turned into high self-esteem when we become confident solely in our own ability. Well, history has proven that all of us are pretty fragile, so I don’t know how far being confident only in ourselves can really take us. God tells us that He is our sufficiency and that we should place our confidence solely in Him. Philippians 4:13 says that we can do ALL things through Jesus Christ who gives us strength. He’s our Source, and if we’ll learn about him and seek him when we’re feeling bad, his love will deliver strength to our cores. He’ll plug us into God, so that our wires make sense, and feeling good will be a way of life.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“You Can’t Fake Self-Esteem” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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