by:  Cris Corzine-McCloskey

Can you name 10 things you like about yourself? Sounds easy enough, but you would be amazed how many people can’t get to 10, or even 5. If that’s you, you have a problem, because your self-esteem shapes how you see and interact with the world.

If you think poorly of yourself, social situations are probably difficult, and the thought of being rejected is enough to send you into orbit. You may also be underemployed because you don’t believe in yourself enough to go back to school, change careers, or ask for a raise.

Poor self-image is pandemic. The DSM5 (the diagnostic manual for mental illnesses) does not recognize low self-esteem as a mental illness, but it is a symptom of depression and anxiety. It can cause people to pick up unhealthy vices to cope, such as alcohol, tobacco use, and drugs. Feeling unattractive can affect libido in marriage and make us vulnerable to affairs. Low self-esteem can cause us to have a sub-par life. And it can wreak havoc on our faith.

Not surprisingly, Jesus did not have problems with self-esteem. He also didn’t have issues with faith, and because of His great faith, He was able to speak to storms, feed multitudes, heal the sick, and raise the dead. We read the scriptures and assume everything came easy for Him because He was the Son of God. But I doubt things were as easy for Him as we think.

Because He was human, Jesus would have been tempted to have doubts. He also spent the first 30 years of His life without being empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the miraculous. That means Jesus had to believe He was God’s Son without a shred of evidence to back it up. Restated, Jesus had to have the faith to believe in Himself before He had the faith for anything.

It says in 1 John 4:17, “as Jesus is, so are we in this world.” Let that marinate in your brain for a minute. As Jesus is, so are we in this world. It might behoove us to think about that because it has the power to change the way we feel about ourselves.

My friend, Mike Q. Daniel, says, “Believer, who you truly are is not the result of how well you’ve done but how well Christ has done.” We would all amen that at a church service, but do we really consider what it means? We also love the verse that says our faith in Christ has made us new creatures. But most of us are new creatures with old self-esteem.

If Jesus had not had the faith to believe He was the Son of God, He would have never left Nazareth. If you don’t start thinking you are a child of God, with all the rights and privileges therein, you will never be able to achieve the things God wants you to complete.

Sounds easy enough, but I know for a fact how tough this is. I believe I’m a blood-bought daughter of God, in right relationship with God, because the Bible tells me so. However, on a hard day when I’ve gotten mad, and my mouth shoots off things that would make a sailor blush, I must hold on to the faith that I’m still His girl. Just like Jesus, sometimes I have to believe I am who God says I am even when I don’t have a shred of evidence to back it up.

If you are one of those people who can’t come up with 10 things you like about you, allow me to give you an assist from the book of Ephesians 1:3-11. You are blessed. You are united with Christ. You are loved, chosen, and adopted by God. He sees you as holy and without fault. You belong to Him, and you are forgiven. And you have received an inheritance from God. Wow! You, my friend, are amazing!

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