When I think of self-esteem in Scripture, I’m immediately drawn back to Exodus 3-4. It’s the story of the burning bush when God called Moses to leave his flock of sheep. His new assignment was taking a trek to Egypt to call for the release of the Israelite slaves.
Throughout chapter 3, God laid out His plan and how this message would be received by the Pharaoh. God assured Moses of His presence and power. But in chapter 4, Moses expressed his sincere doubt at his part in this plan:
Verse 1: “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?”
Verse 10: “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”
The Lord was probably getting upset at this point. (We know that by verse 14, He was angry.) In verses 11-12, God said “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
But Moses again expressed his doubt at being able to do what God had called him to do. Listen to verse 13: “But Moses again pleaded, ‘Lord, please! Send anyone else.’”
Moses self-doubt wasn’t a trivial issue. God had a plan. God’s plan was to use Moses. Moses was to trust God’s ability to enable him to accomplish that plan … and Moses was saturated with self-doubt. Verse 14 says, “Then the Lord became angry with Moses…”
One thing is still clear today. God has a plan. Further, like with Moses, He desires that we participate in His divine plan. But when we, like Moses, are saturated with self-doubt, God cannot adequately use us.
One of the exciting ways that we as Christians can move toward a better self-image is by reading and appropriating the truths in the first part of the letter to the Ephesians. If you are a believer, God has declared so many things true of you because you are “in Christ.” Christians should never hang their head in self doubt or defeat. Just read the first half of Ephesians and see what God says about you. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
But someone might ask: “I thought we were supposed to be humble!” We are. But true humility isn’t doubting your worth or abilities. True humility knows that you are filled with worth because you were purchased for God with such a high price (1 Peter 1:18-19). It also means that you are capable of whatever task God calls you to (Philippians 4:13). But true humility further realizes that apart from Christ, we’re nothing and cannot do anything. It’s HIM that gives us worth and competency.
I suspect that Christians shouldn’t strive for “self-esteem” which leads to pride. We should strive for “Christ-esteem” which leads to praise! The end result is that you become someone that knows who you are in Christ and what you can do in Christ so that God is free to use you in His divine plan. Exciting stuff!!!

If you’ve never received God’s amazing gift of eternal life, go to http://www.wayofthemaster.com/about_kirk.shtml and click on “Listen to Kirk’s Testimony.” (It’s only about 5 minutes long.) Feel free to contact me! I’d love to help you along in this decision.