Finding Your Confidence, Identity, & Security In Christ - Part 1
Is self-esteem a goal (something to be obtained) or a method (means of obtaining something)?
In order to answer this question well, we will have to define our terms. Often there is confusion in these kinds of conversations because people use the same word to mean many different things. We can get anything from bottled water to an ice cream sandwich from a “Coke” machine; not to mention that many people refer to Coca-Cola’s rival Pepsi as a “Coke.”
We should begin to realize that when a word means everything or anything, it quickly begins to mean nothing. This is a big part of the confusion that surrounds self-esteem. The concept has begun to explain everything, so that it becomes of very little practical value.
That is why we want to begin by determining whether self-esteem is a noun / goal (something to be pursued or attained) or a verb / method (a way of pursuing a desired result). Our conclusion will be that self-esteem is actually a verb that is commonly used as a noun. But in order to see this, it will be helpful to define several terms that are used synonymously with self-esteem.
- Confidence: A positive expectation that circumstances will not be over-whelming or defeating.
- Identity: A consistent sense of self that is not dependent upon circumstances or peer affirmation.
- Purpose: A direction or life agenda that is motivating and gives meaning to the “smaller” decisions.
- Security: A disposition of stability in the midst of uncertainty that allows for clarity of thought and intentionality of decisions.
- Wisdom: The ability to make decisions according to preset, effective principles resulting in a productive and enjoyable life.
These five words are goals that can be pursued. They are matters of character, emotional fortitude, or skill. Self-esteem, however, is a method or theory of how to pursue confidence, identity, purpose, security, and wisdom. What, then, is self-esteem?
- Self-Esteem: A belief system which proposes that by loving myself and appraising my own self-worth to be high I will obtain confidence, identity, purpose, security, and wisdom.
This seminar is contrasting two questions:
- Do people lack confidence, identity, purpose, security, and wisdom because they don’t love themselves enough?
- Do they lack these things because their focus upon self has distracted them from the true source of confidence, identity, purpose, security, and wisdom?