Building your Self-Esteem (2)
We have established that the way we see ourselves affects the decisions we make and the actions that we take in life. We are created in the image and likeness of God; we are visual beings and our destinies are tied to images and pictures. One of the most ever important pictures you have is the picture you have of yourself; your self-image. This picture you have of yourself controls your life. You are not likely to attempt anything or feel deserving of anything beyond the capacity of that person in the picture. Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself which is borne out of the opinion you have of yourself. Sadly some people don’t love themselves; wishing they were other people and it is very critical the idea we hold about ourselves. The truest things about you are the things God has to say about you and this is the revelation we need. Jesus asked His disciples who men said He was and no one really knew who He was but they were comparing Him with the people who had existed up until that time and only Peter could accurately define who He was and this came only by revelation; this is equally true of every single one of us.
We need however to be aware that whenever God gives you a revelation of who you are, satan will come after it because once he can get it then He has gotten the core of your being and your capacity to function on this planet. Revelation makes you an attraction to the devil because he knows that your future is in revelation. Hence, building and maintaining your self-image is spiritual warfare. We should understand that we cannot afford to build our self-esteem on the physical and material because of the spiritual controlling the physical. We are turning the principle on its head when we allow the tangible to control the intangible; if we now build our esteem on how much money we have, the exams we’ve passed, the car we drive, our status or title then satan has gotten us and we’ve sold ourselves short. Defying your circumstances to hold on to what God said, that’s faith. If you have not built a culture of defining yourself by revelation, you won’t even be able to define other people by revelation. You find out that people, whose self-esteem has been hurt, hurt others; those who run themselves down are likely to run other people down. It is very important to build our self-esteem.
Here are some signs though not exhaustive, that one’s self-esteem is low; the list is based on what we can pick from our text in Numbers 13: 1) Feeling inferior to other people: this is a sign that one’s self-esteem is low. The Israelites in Numbers 13 described the inhabitants of the Promised Land as giants and themselves as grasshoppers. This is proof that one’s self-esteem is built on external factors. Stop shaking in the presence of other human beings simply because they have more material possessions than you because it doesn’t make them more valuable than you. We are intrinsically all equal in value before God. 2) Using negative labels on yourself: sometimes to know why things are not working it is important to check our self-talk. As your self-esteem improves, you need to begin to reject negative labels. These changes happen first before your circumstances begin to change. 3) Exaggerating your challenges: if you are beginning to think that you have a problem on this planet that no one ever had then, you have been deceived; 1 Corinthians 10:13 makes us understand that our challenges are common; it all depends on our perspective on the issue. What to do is to put them in proper perspective and deal with them. 4) Being pessimistic: this is having a negative outlook on life. Note that no situation is perfectly positive or negative. It is not as bad as you think it is and what you look for is what you find. 5) Extreme sensitivity to other people’s opinions: criticisms hurt but when we are extremely sensitive, it means we are building our esteem on what people think and say. Acknowledge that God gave everyone a mind and they have a right to think or say whatever they want and what they think doesn’t have as much impact on your life as what you think. 6) Clingy relationships: when someone is in a relationship and cannot stand on his or her own and make decisions on their own; afraid to disagree with the person you are in a relationship with; then something is wrong. Know that only you and God are enough. 7) Giving up too soon: this is sometimes a sign of a lack of confidence; the initial experience of failure is being used by the devil to damage our self-esteem. Yet, know that you need the virtue of persistence to achieve any measure of success.
To build your self-esteem, first, become a child of God; you derive your nature from the person that gave birth to you. Know that whatever is born of God overcomes the world. Secondly, pray for revelation; Jeremiah 33:3. Cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit and spend time with Him, He’ll show you things about you that will excite you. Thirdly, meditate on the scriptures that define your identity. Fourth, deal with your mistakes quickly and don’t allow the devil to use your mistakes to define you; 1 John 4:7-9. Fifth, do you; be yourself; there is room for you because God deliberately made you different from everybody else. Sixth, surround yourself with people who have a revelation of you. Finally, thank God for you and celebrate small wins; Psalms 139:13-14. From here on, a new you is emerging.