If you’ve hung around me all that much, you probably know that I put myself down a whole lot.  I’ve known that I have a low self-esteem for a while, but recently, several people have been pointing it out as a serious problem in my life.  On one hand, it’s really hard for me to see this as a problem.  To me, it’s just the way I am.  I even wrote in my last post, “I suck at leadership.”  I wasn’t meaning that literally, but in regards to my sinful nature compared with the Holy Spirit inside me.  And there, I believe, lies the real problem: I refer to my old sinful nature as “I.”

Why do I identify myself with my old sinful nature?  I’m still trying to completely figure that out myself.  You see, readers, I love my God.  I love other people.  I’m amazed by Him every day.  I know that if I let Him, He’ll do amazing things through me.  There’s the second problem: I don’t let Him.  I sin, guys.  I sin a lot.  Sure, I don’t sleep around or look at porn.  I don’t hate anybody.  I don’t cheat in school.  I don’t cuss.  In fact, I’ve even cut out almost all TV and video games from my life.  I thank God for all those victories.  But are those the only sins that exist in this world?  Heck no!  How about all those times that God has told me to witness to a stranger at the bus stop?  With maybe two half-exceptions in three years, I flat-out denied God to His face every time.  How about every homeless person that I didn’t take some time and money to feed?  That, my friends, is sin.

I realize more and more each day how selfish I really am.  Who am I getting a degree for?  Me.  Who tries to stay comfortable as much as possible?  Me.  Who do I try to please?  Me.  Why do I continue to live for myself when I know the Creator of the universe?  How can I be so freaking selfish when the Holy Spirit lives inside me?  How can I continue to disobey His promptings?  I may be getting better, slowly, every day.  I’m definitely not getting worse.  But it breaks me down even more now, every time I say “No” to God.  It’s so much more difficult to say no to His promptings, but  I still say no!  Nothing has really changed.  What’s my answer to all these things?  I suppose it’s to call myself a “stupid idiot who sucks at everything,” live with a low self-esteem and leave it at that.

That, my friends, is the wrong answer.  This is the right answer: obedience.

My God loves me, guys.  I am his son.  He is my LORD, Master, Savior, Redeemer.  He is the Alpha, Omega, Beginning and the End.  I am His.  I think back to the parable of the disobedient servant.  The servant who said he would obey but actually didn’t was the wrong one.  Sometimes I think about all the people I could have witnessed to, and wonder how how many of them are going to hell now because of me.  It scares me, and I’m disappointed with myself.

I think there is only one solution to my problem.  I need to obey God every time.  I need to become selfless.  There is no greater love than to lay down my life for others.  I have to remember that this life that I call “me” is not my own anymore!  I was bought with a price, and I am now a slave to righteousness.  I know that God will finish this good work in me.  It’s really difficult, though.  I need spiritual discipline.  Then maybe I’ll think a little more highly of myself; right now I don’t think I deserve it.  Jesus said it best:

“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'” -Luke 9:23


4 thoughts on “Selfless-Esteem

  1. Matthew 7:7..Let’s keep travailing for the good things that our Father prepared for us to do before the beginning of the earth…Like a Father he guides us and he disciplines us because He loves us (Hebrews12:7). He won’t make it too hard. If He really was your father he would most definitely have something good on the other side for just have to turn around seek Him..thanks, as a “reader”, friend, and brother

  2. Jen

    Wow, Joel, this is a great post! I also struggle with the low self-esteem problem, and although I’ve come a long way in recent years, it’s still a pretty major thing for me. I’ve never really thought about it in quite this context, though. Definitely something to mull over!

  3. Liz Feyh

    Wow! That’s really all I can say. Well, no it’s not, because as you know I love to talk. I’m glad you are starting to respect yourself more and realize just how amazing you really are. You are the SON of GOD!!! Nothing could be better, except maybe being the daughter of God…. haha. I kid, I kid. But seriously, I’m really happy that you are starting to realize just how awesome you truly are and all the amazing things you can do through our Lord. I definitely struggle with the witnessing to others thing, but I know that as I continue to grow in God, He will work that out and me, and I will no longer be scared to obey. If anything we should be afraid NOT to obey! I see you growing daily, so keep it up because God will never give up on helping you. I love Jesus super bunches…. just wanted to throw that out there!

  4. Ann Hansen

    Hi Joel! Yes, there are choices we make that come down to obedience/disobedience (sin) and sin should be repented of, and better yet, avoided altogether. By all means listen to His voice! At times though, some choices are, “How can I best be a blessing with what the Lord has invested in me or where He has brought me thus far?” or “For what purpose am I in this place?” Hold on to your life (dignity, pride, etc.) loosely, be a blessing to the Lord and others and you’ll find joy in this life and the next.

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