"American society seems to believe that self-esteem is the cure all for every social ill, from bad grades to teen pregnancies to violence. But there has been no evidence that boosting self-esteem actually helps with these problems ... When people highly value self-esteem, they may avoid doing things such as acknowledging a wrong they did."*
This quote is from a purely secular study. But it's interesting how clearly it confirms the truths of God's Word:
The Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 was confident, secure and had high self-esteem:
"The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.'"
The tax collector had poor self-esteem: "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’"
It is the perspective of the tax collector that pleases God (Psalm 51:17). Genuine repentance, humility, and gratitude are keys to spiritual growth.
*Ohio State University & Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.