The Self-Esteem Myth
- Wednesday, March 09, 2005
This is an amazing article, but it is not likely to receive the attention it deserves. Those pushing the self-esteem agenda hold sway throughout the educational establishment, the psychological community, and the culture at large. An entire industry of self-esteem enhancing seminars, conferences, books, and therapeutic programs means big business and big money. Furthermore, the idea that self-esteem--simply feeling good about ourselves without reference to reality, achievement, virtue, or behavior--is a prerequisite to contentment is itself both seductive and dangerous.
The Christian worldview completely reverses this cycle. The Christian finds satisfaction, not in a sense of self-worth, but in knowing the one true and living God. Human beings are indeed made in God's image, and every single human life is thus worthy of respect and dignity. Nevertheless, the gospel makes clear that the Christian's identity is found in Christ -- not in the self.
As a matter of fact, this is one of the most transformative and liberating realities of the Christian faith. It's not about us--even as we are the recipients of God's grace and mercy.
Scientific American has done us all a great service by exploding the self-esteem myth, and indicating just how superficial and baseless the claims of self-esteem advocates are now shown to be. Expect an energetic retort from the self-esteem industry. They won't go down without a fight.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to www.albertmohler.com. For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to www.sbts.edu. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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