When was the last time you felt foolish…or embarrassed…or humiliated? Pick one. It probably hasn’t been that long ago. You may have felt shame as well.
All those labels try to attach themselves to us when we’ve done something, or been blamed for something that threatens our self-image. Our self-esteem: Something the world works very hard to build up and then tear down over and over.
You constantly hear the concept of self-esteem thrown around. “We need to build our child’s self-esteem.” Doesn’t that actually mean that we are trying to make our child see his identity as something he must maintain by himself?
This is never what the Father intended. We aren’t meant to have to work so hard to keep up an image of who we think we should be. But back to those words again…embarrassed, humiliated, foolish…aren’t those just words that describe our feelings when our carefully designed self-image is threatened?
If we knew who we really were, would we be inclined to be so concerned about our image? If we recognized that we are heirs to the King would we be as sensitive about what people think? If we constantly evaluate life through the lens of self-esteem and reputation we miss the point. Nothing…nothing we could ever say or do will make us more God’s child or less God’s child.
Our identity is secure. We are who He says we are. The Father has determined our value and nothing can change it. We are His and He determined that we were worth His Son’s blood. We don’t need self-esteem and we don’t need to feel shame that we don’t measure up.
Psalm 71:1 says “In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed.”
We need to rejoice that we have been redeemed and that God calls us His beloved children. We have no need of anyone else’s opinion.