Ever Feel Inferior?
Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'" - (Matthew 22:37-39 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined. For the Christian, low self-esteem (inferiority) is an oxymoron. Why? As Christians, we are called and privileged to lead a God-centered life rather than a self-centered life.
The Bible encourages us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.
Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. (Romans 12:3 NLT)
The Bible also commands us to look out not only for our own interests but also for the interests of others.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:3-4 NLT)
But . . . nowhere in the Bible are we told to put ourselves down. In fact, just the opposite. Today's scripture makes it clear that Jesus expects us to love ourselves. "Love your neighbor as yourself" (emphasis added).
Consider this …
Although we are to love ourselves and the way God made us, many of us struggle with feelings of inferiority. Bob Moorehead in the "Inferiority" chapter of Counsel Yourself & Others from the Biblelists seven common causes of inferiority feelings (pp. 192-194):
- Less than ideal physical stature and appearance
- Academic limitations
- Vocational and economic factors
- Negative comparisons made by one's parents
- Poor health
- Criticism of others
- Satanic oppression
Do you struggle with any of these feelings? This week we will discuss how to begin seeing ourselves as God does. To have the kind of self esteem author Don Matzat describes as "Christ-esteem."
Father, your Word tells me I should have good self-esteem based on who I am in Christ. Help me see myself as you do and overcome these feelings of inferiority. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA, LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together. A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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