There is a HUGE difference between 3 words the world uses interchangeably…
Grab a cup of hot cocoa, put on your comfy slippers, and let’s have a heart-to-heart about these vitally important words.
Self-worth is something that is unchangeable. The world believes it goes up and down based on popularity, the amount of money you earn, the car you drive, your appearance…and on and on the list goes.
While we may know better, if we aren’t careful, we can even get caught up in the trap of comparison like the rest of the world. I have yet to meet a teen who has never heard the voice in their mind say “I am not enough”. Is that voice true? Well, how do we measure truth? By their fruits, ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20) So does the belief that you are not enough feel very good? Nope! It’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings a human can experience as they constantly feel like they are in competition or don’t even want to try.
And on that note, if you’re always enough because that is the absolute truth, then wouldn’t that have to be truth for every other human on the planet? Because who gets to decide who is enough and who isn’t? Do we all make mistakes? YES! Do some make mistakes or sins bigger than others? YES! But that doesn’t take away from their self-worth. That’s where justice and mercy come in, to make all things even in God’s law, but God’s law is that we are all equal.
If we want to help with this low self-esteem epidemic, we have to stop using the words self-worth and self-esteem interchangeably. To say you have low self-worth is saying that your value can go up and down and when others hear you say that, they then might fear that their own worth is in jeopardy. And it NEVER will be!
Worth isn’t about spirituality either. Whether you are very spiritual or you’ve only walked inside of a church once in your life, that doesn’t change your worth.
We are equal because we are all children of God, and Christ died for each one of us.
True self-esteem—we all want it and seek it, but how do we get it?
Let’s first talk about what it looks like:
- Doesn’t seek revenge
- Focuses on the positive
- Not negative of others
- Forgives easily
That’s quite the list, right? The best way we can improve our self-esteem is by focusing on the actions listed on this list. The more we do these things, the more we become one that has true self-esteem.
I realize this sounds contradictory to what the world believes. The world thinks the more opinions you have and the more aggressive you are, the more it looks like you have this beautiful amount of self-esteem because you know what you want and you fight for it.
However, when I think of true self-esteem, I think of Christ. I mean, think about it… He had so much self-esteem. He had no reason to argue or put up a fight. He was willing to love, forgive, serve, bless, heal, and even sacrifice his own life for no personal glory. He didn’t seek recognition and fame because he didn’t have a need for it. He already understood His worth and where it came from, and that’s how He was able to serve His father. In Matthew 22 Christ asks us to then love ourselves as much as our neighbors. How beautiful is that? As we build our own self-esteem, in return we have a greater ability to love others. Greater self-esteem means extending more forgiveness to others and less of a desire to take offense.
Someone that has true self-esteem has true self-respect—they wouldn’t do something that isn’t congruent with who they really are.
Confidence is simply how you feel about yourself and not caring what others think. Someone who just owns who they are and what they do has confidence. Many of the singers, artists, and actors of the world have a great amount of confidence.
Really though, confidence isn’t something we need to be seeking, because if we strive to recognize our self-worth and work for true self-esteem by coming to know and be like Christ, confidence will automatically shine brightly from within.