My personal philosophy on the matter. It may be translated to other modes of thought but is centered on my understanding of biblical teachings. I warn this is not for the faint of heart as this concept has brought me to the brink of destruction and beyond immeasurable sufferings all the while showing me that all things are possible in Christ. This is what it is to wait upon the lord, to walk and not be weary, to run and not faint. It is in the trusting that we gain our wings.
This is my argument as to why Self-esteem and confidence are utterly worthless, meaningless and provides the foundation for a weaker spirit in man. Why we should study the truth and know what it is that we belive. The core of the thought is based on the principles of faith, hope and love. The idea that we fight a war not of flesh and blood but of Principia. The great commandment. The mind of Christ and the Christians pursuit of Christs embrace.
First to establish some parameters for the argument. If these parameters can be agreed upon the logic will follow smoothly. Other wise write me and new ones can be made.
Man was created in Gods image: Despite the difference in various doctrines most of us should be able to agree that we have some part of God in us.
The fall of man: Wither or not you belive in complete depravity or some version of it most of us should be able to agree that we are not perfect.
So to clarify, we are made in god’s image and he is perfect but we are not perfect. For the purpose of this argument I will try to avoid the dispute about freewill, salvation, synergisim, predestination etc. This is just about the act of living in faith. A concept that can almost be universally accepted within Christian theology.
Now the great commandment, to love God with all your might. I was talking to a friend one day and the topic came up. She said she couldn’t be a Christian because God wanted all of her. She couldn’t see loving him more than her family. To her and in her honesty on the matter she loved her family more. At the time I couldn’t answer but inspired to investigate the issue. Upon much fasting and prayer in time I came to understand my fallibility in comparison to the perfect love of Jesus.
If we are to be perfect as Christ is perfect then we must be in Christ and Christ in us. The distinction of walking with the spirit and in the spirit. I considered how imperfect my own love was. We all know the saying that we hurt the ones we love. I examined my failures as a son and a friend. I knew I loved the ones I loved but I could see the limits of my love. I could lie to my self and say that my love was boundless and I could do all things for those I loved but I know this was not the case no matter how I wanted it to be.
Once I saw the limitations and imperfections to my love I studied the personality of God as well as all the definitions I could find for the word love. In my search I found no greater definition then God is love, as simple as it is its perfect for human comprehension. Consider First Corinthians Chapter Thirteen and substitute the word love for God and the life of the Christian makes more sence.
It is true that I, even with my fallible love, and even many of you would easily lay down your life for your child or some other loved one. See it isn’t so much a matter of the act its self but the spirit of the act. To surrender your body to the flames, to know and understand all mysteries, to feed the poor and give freely or what ever may be the cause to do it with the love of Christ completes and fulfills the act making it whole.
So simply put I can love my family with my imperfect love or grow in Christ and by being in his love my cup runs over, a love that I cannot contain, the love given to me so I am more able to love my family more completely. It is said that the kingdom of heaven must be taken by force so to take the up the cross and press on is no easy task but the reward for this violence angst ourselves is rewarded with the absence of effect from the world. The greater our ferocity in love for Christ the more perfect our love becomes wherefore our love for others are more perfect.
Woops I need to back up I think…. that bit about violence and takeing heaven by force. This is Christs encouragement for us that even though the Christian life is not easy it is obtainable. The violence is the act of denying the world, its worries and its pleasures for the pursuit of heavenly and spiritual things. If you think about it and are honest you can see how putting God before al things is not so easy as we are pulled and compelled by our body’s and other forces. But If we, even if it is only in short bursts of inspiration, pursue God with all our might consistently then we are fortified from any real harm. Our love (wich is the act of being in Christ) is grater and more perfect than our own by its self.
Esteem is to assign value to something whether it be of poor or high value. So self-esteem is someones emotional evaluation of self-worth. This is where the war of principle over flesh comes in. We are tought from an early age that we should have a good self-esteem. Not to high or narcissistic and not too low. We are all very familiar with this concept but think about it. What do we base our esteem on? Wow do we evaluate our sense of worth?
Psychology has much evidence to support that a large majority of it comes from how others perceive us and how we are treated. Some other subjective basis for our own evaluation is preserved from our accomplishments, social status, success in goals, talents as well as others. But I propose this is teaching incompatible to scripture.
We have already established that God should be the primacy of our lives. That God is perfect and we are not. And some of God is in us. Without getting into nature v.s nurture we can already assume that what is good in us is not from us but from god as we are his creation (remember the story of the talents) that we are stewards of his gifts and that they are not our own. So If we esteem God above all others then it is not a matter of our own value as we know we are imperfect but rather the value in our service to what we value and that service is defined by the principle we keep.
Confidence is the certitude or assurance in the trustworthiness, ability, validity or powers of a person, thing, or idea. So if you’ve read this far you can surely deduce what im going to say. Why be confident in our imperfect selves? Do we really know whats best? Can we really do any thing at all with out the proper opportunities and privilege or conditioning.
So to apply the principles of self-esteem and confidence to your life you open the door to doubt and fear. If we fear not because God is with us then we are free to act in his will with out hesitation or restraint. If I were afraid of the water I could through my self into the ocean or if I was afraid of heights I could through my self from a plane and it wouldn’t make any difference.
Whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of Christ. This is the principle. Do not say I will go here and do this or that I will go there and do that but rather if it is Gods will it will be so. Do not concern your self with whether or not you will succeed or fail for if you put your whole heart in Christ, it ultimately doesn’t matter. If you are in Christ and are of Christ then you have the mind of Christ and all things are possible in Christ, so what Christ does by his own will let it be your will also. We need not our own knowledge or wisdom so much as faith hope and love. The faith that Christ is who he is, the hope which is the promise of who he is, and the love that he is.
Long story short. Self-esteem and confidence whether good or bad only makes you weaker. So put our whole self and whole heart into what ever it is you do and the outcome is less relevant than the passion of the journey.