Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”
The "gospel of self-esteem" is different from the “gospel of self-respect." The latter is from the Lord; the former is a snare.
Both are mentioned in Romans 12:3 where the inspired apostle pleads with us: "I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think." In other words, be careful: don't give yourself an overdose of "self-esteem" thinking! Thank God for "the grace" that was given to "our beloved brother Paul" (2 Peter 3:15). He will discourage no one; all he knows how to do is to encourage people like you and me.
So, on the other hand, he says don't dig a hole and crawl into it: you're worth an infinite price. Paul goes on to preach to us the gospel of self-respect: but "through the grace given to me, [I say] to everyone who is among you, … think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure [metron, Greek] of faith."
A good place to start learning is Psalm 139:
Your heavenly Father knows you in and out (but still loves you, amazing! (vss. 1-6).
He "formed [your] inward parts ... in [your] mother's womb" (vss. 13-15). That means He engineered the intricate mechanisms of your conscious and unconscious mental functions, the interplay of your emotions and senses of heart-appreciation.
He put you together from a divinely invented Blueprint (vs. 16). No one else on earth was to be or has been exactly like you. You are something special; that's good.
Run away from Him today and you're back in His school tomorrow (vss. 7-10).
Your moments of deepest depression are not dark with despair; your heavenly Father's "hand" is on you in your darkness where faith is still working (vss. 9-12).
It does you worlds of good to know that a friend is just thinking of you, remembering you, in your hour of deep personal trial. Think of your heavenly Father--thinking a thousand thoughts about you, all of them full of grace (vss. 17, 18).
Now, be happy: stop being afraid to let Him search your heart (vss. 23, 24).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 16, 2007.
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