Whose approval do you want the most? Your parents? Spouse? Friends? Co-workers?
Whoever you choose will have the power to direct how you feel about yourself. You will attempt to be the person they want you to be in order to please them. They become the foundation for developing your self-esteem.
It took years for me to learn that I cannot rely on others to build my self-worth. Hearing praise is nice but it is not a permanent platform. Sooner or later it comes crashing down and I would once again feel worthless.
Self-esteem is most solidly formed when it is founded on the One who created us; in Him our value never changes.
That’s why I like the story of the crisp, new $20 bill. Its value is $20. But fold it, wad it, step on it or drop it in the dirt and what is it worth? $20. That is the same with your value to God. No matter what life drags you through, you remain just as valuable to Him.
Place your trust in that kind of love and you can start building a solid foundation for improving your self-esteem.
Have you ever been crushed by someone’s disapproval when you thought you were doing the right thing? What did you do to restore your confidence?
Last month was the annual Strawberry Festival in Lebanon, complete with parade and carnival. Carnivals are so unique with all their color and noise and chaos. One thing I find fascinating is the crazy mirrors; you know the ones where you look like a corgi with no legs or an ostrich with spindly legs and round body. I like the one where I am tall and thin.
Of course, it is all an illusion. But how many times do we look at ourselves through someone else’s description and accept their distorted view as fact? Hollywood and magazines are not mirrors we should hold up to see ourselves. In fact, we shouldn’t even be looking in a mirror to see who we are. What we see is merely a reflection of the physical.
To find who we truly are, or were meant to be, we need to be looking in the Bible. God created us in His image. We are His children. (John 1:12) We are precious and honored in His sight. (Isaiah 43:4). We are blessed. (Jeremiah 17:7) We are cared for. (Jeremiah 29:11) We are loved just as we are. (John 3:16)
Man sees mere images from the outward appearance; the Lord looks at our heart. (1 Samuel 16:7b) We laugh at the distortions in the crazy mirrors; let’s learn to laugh at the wrong images that others give us.
Do you accept other’s criticism or do you seek refuge in knowing who God says you are?