It is an issue that plagues millions of people today. Many struggle with their self-esteem, or lack thereof. I have only heard one sermon in my entire life on this subject. What does the Bible and God say in regards to our self-esteem and self worth?
First let’s look at ourselves. The appraisal we make of ourselves can be grossly inflated (Rom. 12:3; Prov. 16:18) or deflated. I once knew a man who was a member at the congregation where my husband and I were married. He was so humble – to a fault. He knew he needed to be humble and that is all good and great, but he took it to the point of stating, “I am just a waste of human flesh.” His self-esteem was so low! My husband turned to him and said, “You were made in the image of God!” How true that is! When we have such a low view of ourselves, when we think we are worthless or no-good or can’t do anything right and even (shall I daresay) call ourselves “stupid,” are we not degrading and insulting a person made in the image and likeness of God?
We are made in the image and likeness of God which give us tremendous value (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6)! This, of course, does not mean that we are physically like God, for God is a spiritual being (John 4:24). But the “image” spoke of here consists of spiritual qualities in man’s mental and moral attributes as a self-conscious, rational, personal agent, capable of self-determination and obedience to moral law. We should always consider this unique honor that is the Creator has given us by granting us certain qualities that are central to His nature.
God’s view of us, of course, is accurate in every detail and He does not care if we wear the latest fashion or if we are over or under weight. “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Another reason for us to have high self-esteem is that God gave us a gift that is far more precious than anything that has been or ever will be given us – His Son. This gives us a chance at redemption, a chance at spending eternity with our Creator. Our soul that God gave us is precious (Luke 15). The parables in Luke 15 (The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, The Lost Boy) all show us and emphasize that we have great value and worth in the eyes of God. These parables point out time and time again that the worth of a single soul – our soul- is of far more value than anything in the world (Matt. 16:26).
There are two things that determine value in life: (1) the past owner of the item; and (2) what someone is willing to pay for the item. God has owned us because He created us, and Jesus paid a hefty price for us at the cross (John 10:11). What greater boost to our self-esteem than that! We are indeed precious. Peter describes Christians in 1 Peter 2:9-10 as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people and a forgiven people. This gives us great value indeed!