THE GOD IMAGE: ESTEEM, Part 1
THE HIGHEST ESTEEM
“...For as he(she) thinks within himself (herself), so he (she) is...” (Proverbs 23:7 NASB).
“...For...[God, the Holy Spirit]... know the thoughts that ...[he thinks]... toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV).
“…Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God…” (2 Corinthians 3:5 KJV).
“...he (God, the Holy Spirit)...hath done marvellous things…” ( Psalms 98:1 KJV).
“… Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done …” (Psalms 40:5 KJV).
So...“…be conformed to the image of his Son…” (ROMANS 8:29 KJV).
What is self-esteem? First, let’s come up with a definition for SELF by looking at creation. “…And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground (body), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Holy Spirit); and man became a living soul (soul)…” (GENESIS 2:7 KJV).
The bible refers to the soul as a person, a who, or a self. “...Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore ... for WHOsoever doeth any work therein, THAT SOUL shall be cut off from among his people...” (Exodus 31:14 KJV). “...and souls of men...” (Revelation 18:13 KJV). “.. and man(woman) became a living soul (soul)…” (GENESIS 2:7 KJV).
Jesus came to earth to SAVE SOULS, the lost SOUL. “…The Son of man came to seek and to save THAT WHICH WAS LOST…” (Luke 19:10 KJV). “...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (God’s living Word), and thou shalt be saved…” (ACTS 16:31 KJV). “...receive the word ...which is able to save your souls...” (James 1:21 KJV). “...those (people) who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls...” (Acts 2:41 KJV).
God encourages, the righteous to WIN SOULS too. “...he (she) that winneth SOULS is wise...” (Proverbs 11:30 KJV). “...he (she) who turns a sinner (leads that person to Jesus) from the error of his (her) way will save his(her) soul from death...” (James 5:20 KJV).
The bible is repeatedly referring to these souls as people or persons. When God finished the creation of Adam, he called him “a living soul.” Adam wasn’t GIVEN a soul, he BECAME “a living soul.”
When a SOUL is saved, that soul RETURNS to the SHEPHERD of the SOUL! “...ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls...” (1 Peter 2:25 KJV). “...Behold, all souls are Mine (God, the Holy Spirit’s)...” (Ezekiel 18:4 KJV).“…the world is mine, and the fulness thereof…(Psalm 50:12 KJV). “…all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine…” (1 Chronicles 29:11 KJV).
The SOUL then is the SELF of the male and female, which includes the unity of an individual’s body, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. The SELF also reveals the personality and identity of that particular person(soul). “.. and man(woman) became a living soul (soul)…” (GENESIS 2:7 KJV).
Self-esteem, then, is a mental representation a person has of themselves as a whole. “….Jesus Christ (the WORD of GOD) maketh thee WHOLE…” (Acts 9:34 KJV). Self-esteem is an OVERALL assessment of their OWN self-worth or VALUE.
Self-esteem REVEALS how much a person appreciates themselves or like themselves. .“….Apart from Me, you can do nothing…” (John 15:5 NIV).
It also reveals what they believe about themselves, how they appraise their appearance, how they judge their performances, or how they view their character traits. “...man looks at the outward appearance, …”(1 Samuel 16:7 NASB).
In areas, where a person’s esteem is HIGH, they are or can be pretty successful, but in areas, where a person’s esteem is LOW or NIL, they are and can be pretty defeated, depressed, downtrodden, or destructive. “...For as he(she) thinks within himself (herself), so he (she) is...” (Proverbs 23:7 NASB).
Wherever esteem is LOW or NIL a person can make BAD CHOICES about situations and relationships, which usually end up HARMING them or making esteem WORST.“…I want to do what is right, but I can’t…” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
The other spectrum of LOW or NIL esteem is narcissism where a person CREATES a GRANDIOSE and UNREALISTIC representation of themselves as a whole, that can also end up causing HARM or DAMAGE to “that” individual. “…do not think of yourself more highly than you ought…” (Romans 12:3 NIV). “… there is none good but one, that is, God...” (Mark 10:18 KJV).
Self-esteem influences an individual’s life one way or another. How you SEE yourself as a WHOLE will MOTIVATE your success or your failure. “...For as he(she) thinks within himself (herself), so he (she) is...” (Proverbs 23:7 NASB). "...You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you...” (Matthew 9:29 NASB). “...It shall be done to you according to your faith (what you believe)..." (Matthew 9:29 NASB).
When a person FEEDS positive thoughts to their minds, it will boost their attitudes, and encourage them to accomplish their goals in life. “...You will succeed in whatever you choose to do...” (Job 22:28 NLT). “...according to your faith (what you believe)..." (Matthew 9:29 NASB).
The person needs positive thoughts, first and foremost, in order to feed them to the mind. What do, most people, normally, need in order to influence positive thoughts? “...For as he(she) thinks within ...” (Proverbs 23:7 NASB). “...so he (she) is...” (Proverbs 23:7 NASB).
Usually positive thoughts, about one’s self come from such factors as good genetics that help shape the personality, or positive assessments from intimate caregivers, family, friends, society or culture. “...the empty life you inherited from your ancestors...” (1 Peter 1:18 NLT). “...perishable things ... from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers...” (1 Peter 1:18 NASB). “...corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers...” (1 Peter 1:18 KJV).
These two factors (genetics and positive assessments) are MOST instrumental in promoting the positive, inner, thoughts needed to feed the mind, boost our attitudes, and impact our self-esteem so we can accomplish our goals.
Those two factors are IDEAL situations for healthy self-esteem. However, self-esteem may also be influenced by disabilities, illnesses, physical limitations, negative assessments from intimate caregivers, family, friends, society or culture, bad genetics, or even the type of job you have.
Nonetheless, “...the empty life you inherited ...” (1 Peter 1:18 NLT). “...perishable things ... [or]...way of life inherited...” (1 Peter 1:18 NASB). “...corruptible things ...received by tradition ...” (1 Peter 1:18 KJV).
The PROBLEM, of self-esteem, becomes a serious ISSUE when there are NO positive thoughts to FEED the mind. “…I [am] …a slave to the sin that is … within me (within my nature and affects my mind.) …” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).“......I want to do what is right, but I can’t. …” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
Without THOSE positive thoughts to FEED the mind, the attitude won’t be boosted and goals won’t be accomplished. “...I want to do what is good, but I don’t …” (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
Self-esteem is a fundamental NEED. “…God will generously PROVIDE all you need…” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT).“…God will supply all [your need …” (Philippians 4:19 NASB).
When self-esteem is NOT available, in the ROLE of motivator, most human beings STRUGGLE, to reach certain goals (big or small). “…I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me…” (Philippians 4:13 KJV). “…Apart from [Christ, you can]... do nothing…” (John 15:5 NIV).
Self-esteem, in the ROLE of MOTIVATOR, is not ONLY for the purpose of DOING something, but it also aids in establishing self-respect, worthiness, and awareness of one’s value upon earth.
The God IMAGE, which is the INDWELLING Holy Spirit, is the MOTIVATOR for the righteous. The indwelling Holy Spirit EMPOWERS, the righteous, with esteem through HIS love for them.
God’s LOVE accepts them. “…Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God SHOWS NO FAVORITISM. In every nation HE ACCEPTS those who fear him and do what is right…” (Acts 10:34-36 NLT). “… [God]…hath made us ACCEPTED in the beloved…” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV).
God’s love purposely chooses them. "You did not choose me but I chose you, and appointed you ...” (John 15:16 ASV). “…God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world…” (Ephesians 1:4).
God’s love proudly takes ownership of them. “….You belong to God…” (1 John 4:4 NLT). “…But you belong to God, my dear children. …” (1 John 4:2-7 NIV).
God’s love CLAIMS them as his own Children. “…YE ARE “ALL” CHILDREN OF GOD BY FAITH “IN” CHRIST JESUS…” (Galatians 3:26-28 KJV). “.We know that we are God’s children…” (1 John 5:19 RSV).
God’s love respects and values them through his demonstration of honor. “…God is LOVE…” (1 John 4:4-8 KJV). “…Love ...does not dishonor others….” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 NIV). “…God honors ...[his righteous ones]. …” (Psalms 37:34 NLT). “..My (the righteous)… honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me…” (Psalms 62:7 NLT). “… Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you…” (Isaiah 43:4 NLT). “…I have given you a title of honor …” (Isaiah 45:4 NLT). “…The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength…” (Isaiah 49:5 NLT). Therefore, “…Sit in a place of honor…” (Isaiah 52:2 NLT).
Human self-esteem motivates you to accomplish personal goals as it rallies for your self-worth and value as an individual at the same time. Self-esteem SAYS: “...YOU CAN do this because you are an asset to the TASK and you bring value to it as well...”
Self-esteem also helps you reach your POTENTIAL. It helps you accept yourself, strengths and weaknesses. It helps you grow as an individual who knows their own worth, and their own value.
In addition, self-esteem can enable you to view others, regardless of their differences, with the same potential as you’ve personally experienced.
People with HEALTHY self-esteem are said to show signs of having confidence in themselves as a whole, are positive, resilience, possess good communication skills, are peaceful with and accepting of both their strengths and weaknesses, and have no problem saying no. People with low self-esteem are the opposite.
According to the experts, being healthy is experiencing physical, mental, and social well-being, and is the resource for living a full and happy life.
A HEALTHY self-esteem, is part of mental health. Ideal mental health would, simply, INCLUDE positive thoughts and positive perceptions.
However, in order for some to have good mental health mental illness, negative thoughts, negative perceptions, and chronic physical challenges need to be considered.
Unfortunately, healthy or unhealthy self-esteem is impacted by a person’s ability to adapt positive thoughts and positive perceptions to body changes, threats to comfort zones, infirmities, disabilities, and unexpected experiences life presents to them.
Maintaining healthy self-esteem is not always easy to preserve. One’s thoughts, especially when life’s challenges happen, are not always dependable for sustaining good mental health.
In order to maintain good mental health, during life’s challenges, a person needs a reliable SOURCE to sustain their well-being. They NEED a SOURCE that is oriented toward empowering self-esteem, during challenging times, that keeps them moving toward their goals.
Thus, self-esteem has VERY little PROFIT, to the righteous! It has no more PROFIT than body image. Remember“..bodily discipline (body image) is only of little profit, but godliness (the God image) is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come...” (1 Timothy 4:8 NASB).
For the righteous, self-esteem has NO eternal value and the “little” value that it does have is temporary like body image. “..bodily discipline (body image) is only of little profit...” (1 Timothy 4:8 NASB).
ESTEEM, for the righteous, is necessary for the purpose of being HEALTHY, especially spiritually. ESTEEM is also necessary in order to be an USEFUL earthen vessel for the indwelling Holy Spirit. We should pray for GOOD health in ALL areas. “...I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers...” (3 John 2 NASB).
For the righteous, ESTEEM, is GIVEN to them, as a GIFT, through the indwelling Holy Spirit. “…You will receive the gift of the (excellent indwelling) Holy Spirit….” (Acts 2:38 NASB).
NOW, “…Jesus Christ (the God image) is IN YOU …” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV). “…[you]…have this treasure in [your]…earthen vessel (body)...” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7 KJV).
An earthen vessel is advantageous for the temporary time, the righteous, is upon the earth. ESTEEM is about KNOWING who they are “IN” Christ and WHO Christ is when he is “IN” them! “…Therefore if any man (woman) be in Christ, he (she) is a NEW creature …” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV). “… All things are … [MADE] … NEW…” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV). “…by the GRACE of God I am what I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV).
“...greater is He who is in you than he (she) who is in the world (body image, self-image, and self-esteem is IN the world)...” (1 John 4:4 NASB). “...He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world...” (1 John 4:4 KJV). “...the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world...” (1 John 4:4 NIV). “...the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world...” (1 John 4:4 NLT).
“…there is none (no body image, self-image, self-esteem) like unto thee (god, the holy spirit)…” (Jeremiah 10:6 KJV).
According to the bible, “The Son (jesus Christ) is ...the exact representation (IMAGE) of his being…” (Hebrews 1:3 KJV).
“…Jesus Christ is IN YOU…” (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV).“…[you]…have this treasure in [your]…earthen vessel (body)...” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7 KJV).
“...your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you...” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB).
“…In this world we are like Jesus…” (1 John 4:17 NIV). “...Be … imitators of [Jesus]…” (Hebrews 12:14; Ephesians 5:1 ASV). “… growing in every way more and more like Christ (the god image)…” (Ephesians 4:14-16 NLT).
The ESTEEM, for the righteous, serves a purpose in this temporary life and the eternal life to come. Because, “..godliness (the God image) is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come...” (1 Timothy 4:8 NASB).
“...training for godliness (for God image) is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come...” (1 Timothy 4:8 NLT)
“...a disciplined life in God (developing the God image) is far more so, making you fit (spiritually) both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers...” (1 Timothy 4:8-10 MSG).
Self-esteem is limited to the potential for this temporary life upon earth, but it will DO NOTHING, whatsoever, to PROMOTE the Kingdom of God In order to PROMOTE the Kingdom of God, the righteous CHOOSE to be LIKE JESUS in ALL ways. “...Be … imitators of [Jesus]…” (Hebrews 12:14; Ephesians 5:1 ASV). “… growing in every way more and more like Christ (the god image)…” (Ephesians 4:14-16 NLT).
“…be conformed to the image of his Son…” (ROMANS 8:29 KJV). “..since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come...” (1 Timothy 4:8 NASB).