Tuesday

6 Ways the Self-Esteem Movement Contradicts Scripture

Self-Esteem Philosophy, Bible
Sometimes we accept ungodly philosophies because they're overwhelmingly attractive to our fallen human nature.

One of these is the self-esteem philosophy. Below are six self-esteem beliefs and the Bible verses that refute each one.

1. It makes us believe we're victims when we choose to sin. 
1 John 1:8-10. See Victims or Victors.
2. It makes us think that feeling bad about our sins is wrong--"we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves."
James 4:7-10. See When Down is Up.
3. It encourages us to praise ourselves. 
Proverbs 27:2. See I'm Awesome, You're Awesome.
4. It makes us underplay the importance of holiness.
Hebrews 12:14-17. See Friendly Fire.  
5. It makes us think we and our children are praiseworthy when we've done nothing praiseworthy. 
Luke 17:7-10. See Research Shows Dangers
6. It makes us think loving ourselves is a desirable quality. 
2 Timothy 3:1-5. See I Love Me.

"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought ... in humility value others above yourselves." Romans 12:3 & Philippians 2:3-4 

I admit this is a reoccurring subject on Bible Love Notes. That's because I believe it has seriously affected the faith of many Christians, my own included. And it's something I feel God wants me to write about. If you'd like to read more thorough explanations of how this false philosophy contradicts Scripture, check out my Self-Esteem Archive.

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20 comments:

  1. I am glad that this is something that God has laid on your heart to write. I am convinced that humanism is the most dangerous concept invading the church today. It sounds so loving and so kind, but at its core teaches self-indulgence and self-worship. We need to be aware of it.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Joanne. I agree with you. Satan's traps so often sound "right."
      God bless you,
      Gail

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  2. Peter constantly refreshes in the Scriptures, so I think it wise of you! These themes have infiltrated Christian thinking so reminders are important :)

    "I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body…" 2 Peter 1:13

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    1. Thanks, JES.
      You're always an encouragement.
      God bless you,
      Gail

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  3. I am grateful that it is reoccurring :) It is very interesting to me, I grew up in the self esteem movement. I appreciate your insight. Tara.

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    1. Thanks, Tara, for the encouragement. I also have been strongly influenced by the self-esteem movement and I'm still discovering ways it has hindered my Christian growth.
      God bless you,
      Gail

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  4. Wrote this verse in my journal before reading today's Bible Love Note :) "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" (2 Cor. 4:7). Thanks, as always, for pointing us to God's Word, Gail.

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    1. Great verse, Kim. We are those jars of clay but so glad we don't rely on ourselves but on His power.
      Gail : )

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  5. Oh, how true this is! We so often listen to the media, instead of GOD and what He has so amply and graciously provided in His Word. I so enjoyed reading this post and seeing your blog. Thank you so very much for stopping by mine and leaving such a sweet trail of encouragement behind. I hope we can connect often in the future. God is so faithful to bring those who will encourage us into our lives! Iron sharpens iron! Love and peace to you this New Year's Eve! Love, Cheryl

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    1. Oh, yes, Cheryl. How many problems I could have avoided in life had I stuck to the Scriptures instead of listening to popular philosophies.
      Bless you and a Happy New Year to you as well.
      Gail : )

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  6. Thanks for re-posting occasionally on this subject. I truly believe it's something we all need to be reminded of frequently. It's so easy to fall into some of those traps. And that's just what they are; traps set by Satan to distract us from our true beings-children of God.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Janet. Yes, Satan's traps are subtle and attractive. We need God's Word to avoid them.
      Bless you,
      Gail

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  7. I would love to be able to share this on my blog, beyoutyproject.wordpress.com, and give you credit, but also include the links to your other posts. Is that something you would be okay with? Is there a way to do that?
    This is huge and wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I'll contact you, Sam.
      I'm glad you like the devotion.
      Gail : )

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  8. Thank you! I have been affected by the self-esteem movment and always fighting to tell others its not about how good or bad I think I am or you think you are; it is all about how good God is. Without Him and Christ dying on the cross no one is worth anything. Our righteousness is as filthly rags. BUT GOD.....

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    1. Amen! I think we have all been affected by the self-esteem movement, Teresa. But the loud voices of our culture cannot silence the proven wisdom of God. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Gail

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  9. so god said tell ppl to not feel good about ur self cause you going to think ur better then him if u do really ? god told u to say that

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    1. Hi Unknown,
      God wants us to have an honest appraisal of ourselves. If we are doing bad things, He wants us to feel bad and repent. If we are doing good things, he wants us to be humble and give Him the credit.

      Each point has a Scripture following it. You can see exactly what God says by clicking on the verse.

      The Scripture passages will give you a clearer understanding.
      Gail

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  10. Self-esteem leads to confidence. Confidence leads to courage. Correct me if I'm wrong but, the phrase "Be courageous" is mentioned numerous times in the Bible?

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    1. According to authorities, Rob, building self-esteem apart from genuine achievement and right actions (i.e. telling children they are wonderful whether they behave or not) gives the children narcissistic tendencies, makes them praise-hungry, discontent, and unteachable. No where in Scripture does it say we should have confidence or even courage in our own strength. And it warns us to have a "sober view" of ourselves. When we recognize our weakness, we understand our need for God. Even secular authorities are now supporting the Scriptural view that building self-control is better than building self-esteem. If you read some of the articles linked to this devotion and check out the Scriptures linked, you'll see that the self-esteem philosophy isn't Biblical.
      I hope this clarifies.
      God bless,
      Gail

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