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Posts Tagged ‘self esteem’

Christ Esteem

Self esteem. The combination of those two words has always confused me, and my struggle with the concept has extended way beyond word combinations. Some factors beyond my control, mainly a foot problem that placed me in corrective shoes until I was eleven, greatly affected my self-image from an early age.

Despite my best attempts, I never understood how to get esteem from me. Even as I matured, accepted things beyond my control, made peace with things I had perceived incorrectly and returned to normal footwear, I still came up empty-handed when I tried to draw a bucket full of worth and value out of what seemed like the very shallow well of my life. Too often that bucket was brimming with things I wanted to throw back.

Sometimes I didn’t know much, but I knew that I needed Jesus as desperately as anyone alive, and somehow my value … my importance … my complete sense of worth inhabited a refreshing well very much not of me. I could only find my fill of those things in one place … one Friend … one overflowing, cleansing Fountain. I don’t know what I would do without Jesus. I’ve found everything I ever needed and lacked in Him.

My personal experience in this area led me to a different wording … a combination that made sense to my frustrated mind and nurtured my broken heart all at the same time. It just made sense to me to call it Christ esteem because He was … He is … my source of integrity … goodness … permission … and honor. He is my deep wellspring of endless, living water.

At the very same time, a few hundred miles away, one of my best friends was putting the same concept … and different words … together in a way that spoke clearly to him. He called it God confidence.

We only saw each other about once a year, so during one of our visits, as we began to share our journeys and discoveries and new word-combinations, we talked for hours … fascinated by the similarities of our struggles and our conclusions, despite the fact that we were physically separated by large amounts of time and space.

I don’t know how much two country boys know about the esteem of a human heart … or a wounded soul, but I think there’s a lady in Luke 7:36-50 who just might stay up late visiting with us one night if we ever met. I think that Jesus is having very much the same effect on our lives that He had on hers. Hmmmm … I wonder what she would call it.

I’m so thankful that Jesus knows everything about me … and chooses to be friends with me anyway. That’s Christ esteem. I wouldn’t want any other kind.

Note from Steve: Since my youth ministry days, I’ve been sharing my ideas about Christ esteem with family and friends, believing that the concept was unique to me. However, on February 18, 2005, I went to Google and searched for “Christ esteem” hoping the search engine would bring up my web site as a match.

To my surprise, there were over 700 matches. Most of those matches referenced a minister named Don Matzat and a book he published in 1990 through Harvest House Publishers titled “Christ Esteem, Where the Search for Self Esteem Ends,” ISBN: 0890817847. Wow! Just when you think you have a completely unique idea, you find out that over a decade ago, someone else wrote a whole book on it.

I’m not familiar with Mr. Matzat’s work, so I don’t know what he has to say on the subject, but the thoughts and experiences documented above are my own, and I hope they help you to discover the greatest esteem I’ve ever known … the esteem that flows from Jesus.



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