The High Cost of Low Self-Esteem

by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey

Do you have days when you feel incompetent, and you don’t think you can do anything right? I have days like that. Dark days of nit-picking, self-critique and feelings of failure. When I get on a roll, I can self-deprecate with the best of them.

Recently, when my negative self-talk was hitting its zenith, I came across a game-changing scripture. It is 1 Samuel 15:17. The prophet Samuel was talking to King Saul after Saul had made a colossal blunder. Samuel told Saul, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord has sent you on a mission…”

Here’s Saul in a nutshell. In 1 Samuel 9 and 10, we see that Saul had been picked by God to be king. Then he was anointed for the job, given a new heart and Holy Spirit power. He had everything except one crucial ingredient that God could not give him, self-esteem. Because of that, he was a slave to peoples opinions, which led to his downfall.

Saul could be telling our story. We are chosen to be God’s children (Ephesians 1:4), we are anointed by God (1 John 2:27), given a new heart (Hebrews 8:10) and the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11). Then, like Saul, we are given a mission. In Ephesians 2:10 it says “we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

You, my friend, are a masterpiece. And what do we do with masterpieces? We display them, and that is your mission. In Isaiah 61:3 you are called an Oak of Righteousness, a display of God’s splendor. That’s your truth. Here’s the catch though, if you don’t believe it, you will never live up to your full potential. God is responsible for giving us the potential and the mission, we are responsible for believing Him and living it out.

As a former addict and felon leading a Christian ministry, I know what it’s like to doubt yourself. But, as I read 1 Samuel 15:17, I could feel God saying to me, “Cris, although you may think little of yourself, are you not called to be the leader of Caring Counseling Ministries? I, the Lord, have anointed you and sent you on a mission.” That put wind in my sails. He picked me, He anointed me, and He laid out the mission. What I think about myself is irrelevant. My life was His idea.

Now, take that and apply it to yourself. What are you called to do? Are you a parent? Teacher? Car Salesman? No matter what the role, you are a display of His splendor. He wants to shine through you. As bizarre as this may seem, it is theologically correct to say that God thinks way more of you than you think of yourself. Don’t be a Saul and pay the high price of low self-esteem. You, my friend, are on a mission from God. Now, hold your head up high, and enjoy being on display.