Bible Self Love and Esteem  It is Scriptural?

I have a problem with the teaching among Evangelicals about "self esteem" and the Bible.  Regarding the verses  people use it teaches the opposite.

Phil 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

There is nothing here that teaches self esteem. The person that esteems others better than themselves is berated their own self esteem.  They were to do it with "lowliness of mind." They are putting themselves lower than others, instead of higher.

Self esteem is what a person thinks of themselves, not of others.  Everyone of us are bounded to think more highly them we ought.  This borders on pride.

Gal 6:3  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

It is not good for a Christian to be a spiritual introvert.   Pr 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.  To eat too much honey is sickening, so is one seeking their own glory.

Jesus taught that we were to deny ourselves to be true disciples.  Mt 16:24  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

To emphasize this He even use the opposite word of love of self. Luke 14:26  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

The word "hate" here seems to be a relative preference.

Paul thought of himself as:  Rom 7: 18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. To drop the "h" and spell flesh backward we get the true meaning here "self."

Paul true image of himself was what he was in Christ. Not what he was in himself or Christ was in him.

 1 Cor.. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

I am what I am by the grace of God.   I do what I do by the grace of God.

The first of nineteen signs  of the last days in 2 Tim 3:2 ...2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

I have been saved over 50 years, and when first saved never heard of self-love-esteem-worth among Christians or preachers.

Our true image and worth is what we are in Christ.   The cross has put an end to the self-life, with it's vain glory.

Paul could say,  Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Without any ill will, I disagree with men that public teach [a mix audience of saved and lost] self-esteem because it is teaching against the depravity of man.

This does not agree with Psm 14:1...53:1....and Rom 3:10..... The idea that man has some intrinsic value that Christ died for is attaching merit to the grace of God.  God so loved the world, because God is love 1 John 4:8

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated Jan 25th 2003, by Harold Smith