“I have a major problem.
I don’t really know who I am.
I’m not speaking in an “I hit my head and can’t remember my name” kind of way. I know my name, age, and my address. I know my parent’s middle names and my sister’s phone number.
But if you took all that away and asked, “Who are you?” I think I might be hard-pressed to answer. That’s because the answer changes every day and might even change several times within the same day. Who am I? No, really. Who am I? More importantly, am I my real self with anyone?
This inability to identify my true self is one of the big problems I have with self-esteem.
The definition of self-esteem according to Dictionary.com:
1. a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.
2. an inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself.
Now compare that with what we read in Philippians 2:3,“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” In humility, we are to consider others, everyone else, as better than ourselves. This does not say to have a poor view of yourself, but merely a right view of who we are in God’s eyes. We are His, but we are not better than each other.
Even if we totally ignore God in this equation and what He wants, I believe that we still have a problem!
Here is the issue I have with self-esteem. Although I often times have zero trouble discovering an exaggeratedly favorable impression of myself, most days my self-esteem fluctuates almost hourly. The way I identify myself is directly connected to my emotions and feelings. Emotions change quickly. What we are feeling for a period of time, unless depression is involved, tends to change countless times throughout the day. That means I can be on cloud nine in the morning because I received an encouraging text from a friend, and then the next minute I’m depressed about the quiz for which I forgot to study. I might just walk out the door in the morning full of joy, only to trip in front of a really attractive guy and find myself in the pit of despair. Yes, a pit of despair.
The idea that I could work on or grow my self-esteem doesn’t connect with me because I can’t maintain a favorable impression of myself for longer than ten minutes. I embarrass myself more times than I would like to admit.” (Chapter 2, Forget the Corsage.)
I’ve mentioned my feelings about self-esteem before. I really do embarrass myself too often to think that I could muster up good feelings to see me through my day. It’s like wearing water floaties in the middle of a hurricane, not exactly what we need.
But there is hope! God’s word is our shelter from the storm. He promises to keep us safe in the shadow of His wings if we will learn to turn to Him! He offers protection but I am the one who often pulls on the floaties and declares, “Don’t worry! I’ve got this!”
We don’t have to fake it until we make it. God’s truth is real and relevant. His words are enough to see us through our most embarassing moments. Yes. Even the ones that involve peeing in your pants.
For more on that story, you’ll want to enter this giveaway and win the set of e-books I’m offering this week! There are several ways to enter and you can do so each day through Friday. I’ll announce the winner on Monday!
Question for Wednesday: What was your most embarassing moment in elementary school?