Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finding Our Self-Esteem

A story is told about William "Speedy" Morris, who was head coach at La Salle University from 1986 to 2001. As the story goes, during a year in which LaSalle was having a pretty good season, Coach Morris was shaving one morning when the phone rang. His wife answered it and called out to him that Sports Illustrated wanted to talk to him.

Coach Morris was excited that his team was apparently about to receive national recognition in this famous sports magazine. As a matter of fact, he was so excited that he cut himself with his razor.

Covered with blood and shaving lather and running downstairs to the phone, he tripped and fell down the stairs. Finally, bleeding and bruised, he made it to the phone and breathlessly said, "Hello"?

The voice on the other end asked, "Is this Speedy Morris"?

"Yes, yes!" he replied excitedly.

Then the voice continued, "Mr. Morris, for just seventy-five cents an issue, we can give you a one-year subscription to Sports Illustrated."

We are often disappointed to find out that someone else doesn’t think we are as important as we think they ought to! Paul had something to say about this:

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)

We’ve heard a lot in the past couple of decades about the importance of boosting the self-esteem of children in school, with the idea that getting rid of low self-esteem will help children to be happier and have better grades. And I fully appreciate the fact that some children (as well as some adults) do have poor self-esteem and view themselves as worthless, which is a bad thing. Paul doesn’t say that we need to have a poor view of ourselves, just that we need to have a “sober” or “sensible” view of ourselves.

But it seems to me that a bigger problem in our society is high self-esteem – people who think of themselves as more important than they truly are. Strangely enough, I don’t hear anyone talking about that problem! But Jesus did. He spoke a lot about the need to develop an attitude of humility, and he let us know that we find a right view of ourselves by seeing ourselves as servants. Jesus not only taught that view of self-esteem, but he demonstrated it.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)

Father, help me to find my self-esteem in you. Because of your sacrifice on my behalf, I understand my great value in your eyes. But forgive me when I try to elevate myself over others around me who are equally as valuable. Help me to develop the humble attitude of a servant. In Jesus’ name, amen.


  1. Don't know if it has to do with a low self-
    esteem, but today I was having a hard time
    believing that God would be interested
    enough IN ME to want to hear from me 24/7
    about all my worries, fears, concerns for
    the future and to help me to make sense of
    this CRAZY THING we call LIFE!!!!

    Any thoughts out there on the subject??
    It seems lately that all I do is endlessly
    ask for God's help and mercy ... Hey,
    it's a JUNGLE OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Grace,

    It's easy to understand why we would question God's interest in hearing about all our worries, fears and concerns, because we sometimes get tired of other people sharing those things with us!

    There are a couple of things that help me to remember, though, that God never gets tired of us bringing our burdens to him. One is the assurance of God's promise. God has told us over and over that He cares about us (in passages like Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:6; I Peter 5:7), that He wants us to share our burdens with Him, that He will never grow weary of hearing us. God doesn't lie, and we need to trust His word enough that we accept this truth even when we don't understand how it could possibly be true.

    The second thing that assures me is my role as a father (I can truly say that nothing in my life has helped me to understand God more than being a father). Over the years, my children may have questioned many times whether I might grow weary of them coming to me, but I can tell you that if they had come to me wanting to sit in my lap, pouring our their hearts, sharing their hurts, telling me how much they needed me and wanted to be close to me -- if they had come to me a hundred times a day, I would not have grown tired of it! In fact, the more they did it, the deeper I loved them!

    Know that God feels the same way!

  3. Thanks,Alan ... I so desperately want to
    believe that what you say is true! I
    was just reading a note you sent to me
    all the way back in 2006 in which you
    spoke about how our HOPE must always be
    in God ... and that many times in life,
    our closest friends and even family will
    disappoint us ... but that God ALWAYS
    remains faithful. They were beautiful
    and wise words, Alan, and I thank you
    so much for taking the time to write
    them. I am dealing with some big
    disappointments in my life at this
    time, and your words are comforting
    and healing. Here's how you ended
    your note to me: "Let us unswervingly
    hold on to the HOPE we profess, for He
    who promises is faithful" (Heb. 10-23).
    Thanks, Alan, and please keep praying
    for my daily struggles! God Bless You ...
    I keep you in my daily prayers, always!!!

  4. Alan,
    I always get a spiritual meal when I get to read TFTD. This one hit home for me. I believe satan does all he can to attack our "self-esteem". By allowing him to knock us down in this respect, we make ourselves to be non-effective in reaching the lost with the good news of Jesus our Messiah. Think about it. The doubts that we feed by forgetting how worthwhile we are to the Creator of ALL things also take us out of the battle we are supposed to be engaged in with satan and his world. And to make that difference in other's lives we HAVE to be engaged in that battle. We're either in or we're out. I want to be counted in on this battle, Jesus gave all He had to enlist me in His army. Anybody else in with me?

  5. I am with you, Steve!

    Let us PRESS on ... and

    God is Smiling!!!

    In Friendship & Peace,
    Grace T.