14 January 2010 (Chamashee/Teruah)
The Gospel of Self-Esteem
A Modern Heresy
If you're suffering from Motivational Deficiency Disorder (MDD) and think that you need psychiatric help then the chances are that you believe the cause may be low self-esteem. If only you could build yourself up with a little 'positive thinking'! By inflating your ego so that you feel like a lion instead of a kitten you could not only conquer MDD (aka laziness) but be successful too. You just need an attitude readjustment and everything will go fine for you. So get some counselling and you'll be well on your way to making your dream come true.
Nonsense. I hope you don't believe a word of that. These days low self-esteem is being targeted as the culprit for people who get involved in fornication and adultery, abortion, depression, quitting education, rape, robbery - you name it, low self-esteem is to blame. And those who prescribe the hedge of Torah for safety are accused of being 'control-freaks'.
What does this magical word 'self-esteem' mean? It means, quite simply, to 'have high regard or respect for yourself'. That sounds innocent enough but is it? Is mankind's problem a lack of self-esteem? Will that solve all his problems? What does the Bible say on the subject? Quite a bit, actually. Let's begin by turning to the Father of Self-Esteem:
Oh, and in case you hadn't realised by now, the word 'esteem' also means 'glory'. That's why the Institute for Scripture Research Version (ISRV) of the Bible substitutes in the word 'esteem' in place of 'glory' - thus the 'glory of God' is rendered 'the esteem of Elohim'. When we are speaking of 'self-esteem' what we are really describing is 'self-glory' or 'self-exaltation'.
"How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
'I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of Elohim (God);
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.'
When Satan took this message of Self ("I will") to the Garden of Eden, he told Eve that she could be her own god(dess) and decide for herself what is right and wrong (Gen.3:1-6). When Eve agreed with him, she persuaded her husband to imitate her on this path of 'self'-discovery and self-exaltation, inviting him to be a co-head with him. As we all know, this "I will" Gospel is a lie because Satan deceives the whole world (Rev.12:9).
The message of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is the exact opposite. Instead of declaring, "I will", He admonishes us to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses (burdens), and follow Him (Mt.16:24). The two greatest commandments are to love Yahweh with our whole passion and to love our neighbours - there is no third commandment to love ourselves or follow self-will:
In other words, you are to love your neighbour as though you were loving yourself - that is, in place of the natural, satanic, carnal disposition to love, esteem and exalt yourself. The Gospel of Yah'shua is it at the opposite end of the spiritual and theological universe to that of the demonic gospel of self-esteem. Self-esteem prioretises and exalts self; the Gospel prioretises and exalts Yahweh-Elohim and channels the love and grace than is the payback from that by loving your neighbour.
"'You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself'" (Matt.22:37-39, NKJV)
The whole Christian life is about dying to self, not elevating it. It's about serving Yahweh and people. Where are our eyes to be? On ourselves in the mirror? Meditating on our navel? Congratulating ourselves on how wonderful we really are? No, we are to be "looking unto Yah'shua (Jesus), the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb.12:2, NKJV). Does this deny that we are in need or 'needy'? By no means. But it is saying that self is not the place to look for problems with self. The religion of 'Selfism' (read Pantheism) is a dead-end. Rather, we need to see that "while we were still sinners, Messiah (Christ) died for us" (Rom.5:8, NKJV).
Through repentance we find forgiveness and then a life of surrender - of trusting and obeying. Adam should have been following Yahweh, not Eve; and Eve should have been following Adam-in-Yahweh, not Satan. What it is we must respond to is not our own 'self worth' (because there isn't any), but the fact that Yah'shua loves us and has a purpose for our lives that He wants us to use. It is Yah'shua who gives us worth!.
There is a world religion coming and it is the Religion of Self, the religion that Satan started in heaven by first converting a third of the heavenly host and which he is continuing by seeking to convert humanity. Of course what he really wants is not your self-esteem but HIS self-esteem. He wants you and everything else in creation to bow down before him. But if you'll first bow down to yourself, that's a good start for him, because it means you aren't bowing down before Yahweh. And why do we who are believers joyfully bow down before Yahweh? Because:
Yes, we have authentic life or chayyim - and isn't that what everyone really wants? And this chayyim is forever unlike all the counterfeits. So say 'No!' to Self and 'Yes!' to Yah'shua!
"[Yah'shua/Jesus] has given to us all things that pertain to life (chayyim) and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3, NKJV).