I'm Awsome, You're Awesome

self-esteem, Biblical self-esteem, Romans 12:3, Roy F. Baumeister
In an interview last year, a 350-pound actor called herself “awesome” and said she loves how she looks despite the fact that she's dangerously obese.

Whether listening to celebrities praise themselves, watching untalented performers boast at “American Idol” auditions, or just dealing with everyday people, we see the results of America’s self-esteem obsession. We are a nation of selfish people dazzled by ourselves.

Roy F. Baumeister, psychologist, professor and author, was once a self-esteem proponent. But years of professional experience convinced him that self-control is a better indicator of character than self-esteem.

The Bible teaches the same. God opposes pride.(1) He commands that we die to self, consider others better than ourselves, and not think too highly of ourselves.(2) Scripture says self-centeredness and high self-esteem are destructive behaviors.(3)

So let's quit thinking so much about our self-esteem and start aiming for more self-control. And let's reserve the word Awesome for someone who truly is....God! 
copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2012
(1) James 4:6
(2) Luke 9:23-25; Philippians 2:3-7; Romans 12:3
(3) 2 Timothy 3:1-3 

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  1. Great thought...
    Now here is my question, what about children? For example, one of my girls has Cerebral palsy and is very conscious about the fact that she is different and often feel "defeated" So I want to build up her self-esteem and confidence (she was also adopted, so that is another issue here) I don't want her to be full of herself of course, but for her to see her beauty and potential. Would you categorize that as something different?

  2. Dear Ellen,
    God has entrusted you and your daughter with special challenges, and He will use your daughter's disability for good in her life and in the lives of others as she yields to His Spirit.

    It's a good thing to encourage her that God loves her and has plans for her life. She does have great potential and purpose.

    Typically, the self-esteem philosophy encourages us to focus on ourselves, not God; and to put confidence in ourselves, not God.

    It also encourages us to accept ourselves just the way we are. We should accept our circumstances in life, but we should always be pressing on to become more like Christ in our attitudes and actions.

    The self-esteem movement teaches unconditional acceptance, but God teaches unconditional love. There's a difference. Praise should be given for correct attitudes and good behavior but not "unconditionally." Love should be given at all times, and sometimes it will take the form of discipline and correction.

    I hope this makes sense. But I'd love to hear what God has taught you and I'd love to hear from other readers as well.

  3. Couldn't agree with you more! And if we slow down and look for God's presence everywhere then we will think less often of ourselves and more about Him.

  4. Good point, Rebecca! Our focus makes all the difference.

  5. Awesome! lol ;) This is truly a wonderful message ~ there is so much junk being taught today about the self being #1 and "believing in yourself"... it is nonsense, and pretty sad.

  6. Great message, and oh, so true!

    -M. Wildflower, visiting from Teach Me Tuesday's link-up

  7. AMEN...that is one of best posts I've read on the subject. I love it...self control not self esteem. I will be saying that from now on..but I will feel like a thief so I will be sure to say I got from here. LOL THANK you for the wisdom!

  8. Great post! And great reminder for all of us: God is the One who is truly AWESOME! (BTW,I'm a new follower coming to you via Brag on God Fridays. Nice to meet you. :)

    Feel free to visit me here: http://findingtheinspiring.blogspot.com/2012/01/finding-strength.html

  9. Great post! And a good reminder for me. Someone had told me that I was being prideful about five months ago with something I said. It was hurtful, but yet still I went to the Word. And guess what? She was right! Had I exercised "self-control" I probably would not have made those specific comments to her which then resulted in a heartfelt apology. Thanks for your inspiration and reminder to lift up and glorify the Lord and not ourselves.

  10. wonderful post, Gail! Thanks so much!


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