Yvette is a Christian counselor with a passion to help people find God's purpose. Her articles are sources of daily inspiration.
Are Self-Esteem and Happiness for Christians?
In some Christian circles, the concept of self-esteem is interpreted as an unhealthy focus on self. But there is a basis for all Christians, including women, to love themselves.
Christian Psychologist, Bruce Narramore, PhD, in his book, "You are Someone Special," points out that our attitude towards ourselves is one of the most important things that we own. Genuine love for self, empowers us to love others so that we can become effective witnesses in the world. Narramore explains that how we see ourselves affects every area of our lives including how we treat others.
Self-esteem is essentially how we evaluate ourselves, and how we like the picture we have of ourselves. If we have high self-esteem, then we have a largely positive image of ourselves. The core of our self-esteem begins with our interactions in the family setting as children.
As Christians, the true source of self-esteem rests in our position in Christ Jesus. What does it mean to have a healthy self-esteem as a Christian Woman? In his book, You're Some Special, Dr Narramore, explains that God places great value on us, and this demands that we love ourselves.
From the outset of our walk, as Christian women, we need to recognise that our self-esteem is no longer based on transient characteristics, such as physical appearance, achievements, talents, social connections, or financial status. We need to refocus our attention on who we are in Christ Jesus
How can Christians experience high self-esteem, and find true happiness and personal fulfillment that are congruent with Christian teaching? This hub explores seven important areas based on Scriptures that enables Christian women to find true self-esteem and happiness.
We Are Accepted in Christ
For Christian women to embody healthy self-esteem, we need to know who we really are. We are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We gained acceptance through Christ’s complete work on the Cross. We are accepted, loved and nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8: 35)
Our knowledge of who we are in Christ changes the picture of what we have of ourselves to one of value, significance and purpose. Our self-worth is now anchored in Christ and not on transient things.
Focus Verse: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)
We become women from within, in our spirits and this emanates outwards in all we do. As believers we are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). We have a sense of dignity and high regard for ourselves as we see ourselves as God sees us in Christ. Take some time to watch the video below, "God's Love Letter to You,"
God's Love Letter to You
We Enjoy Personal Relationship with God
Christ’s work of grace on the Cross opens the door for our relationship with God. God's Word tells us that we were reconciled to him through the death of His Son (Romans 5:10). This enables us to have an intimate relationship with our Father.
This relationship is rich and satisfying. No other relationship can measure up to it. Out of our relationship with our loving Father flows a sense of genuine self, happiness and personal fulfillment.
Focus Verse: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" John 1: 12, 13, ESV).
Our Father God has given us the right to become children of God. As our Father, he knows our needs and we can go to him freely and ask of him and receive his best. Out of his rich resources, flow the fruit of the Spirit of love, kindness, and goodness in our lives. As we freely receive his blessings, we are now in a position to pass it on.
Christian Woman:Self-Esteem and Happiness Poll
We are Significant in Christ
Robert McGee, in his book, The Search for Significance points out that we all desire acceptance and as such we perform to get other people's approval. The basis of our significance, however, rests in our position in Christ Jesus, and we don’t have to live our lives trying to get the approval of others.
He explains that the phrase "accepted in the beloved" indicates that as God's children we are highly favored. The story of the Pharisee and the tax collector has implications for our significance as Christian women (Luke 18: 10-14).
The Pharisee based his esteem on self and his accomplishments, but the tax collector recognized his depravity and found the mercy of God. As Christian women, we must recognize that our new identity and significance are based on Christ and not ourselves. Only then can we experience healthy self-esteem and genuine significance.
Focus Verse: "To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6. NKJ).
We are branches of the true Vine and channels of Jesus’ divine life. In such a position, we have true significance!
We Are Created for Purpose
If we are convinced that we are born with a special purpose, then this knowledge affects every area of our lives. The result is a sense of destiny and an acknowledgement that we are born for greatness.
Christian author and speaker, Joyce Meyer, explains that God gives us the confidence to do what we need to do. She points out that even in difficult places we can still be confident and enjoy our lives.
Focus Verse: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:1, NIV).
This sense of purpose enhances our overall picture of ourselves. The concept that we are created for purpose should become an important part our thinking. This will motivate us as Christian women and lead to more fulfilling lives.
Our purpose rests securely in the significance we experience through Christ Jesus and its by-products are true kindness and service to others. Related to our self-esteem is our connectedness to others. We are to love God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves (Mathew 22:37-38). Only then can we find happiness and purpose for our lives.
We Choose to be Great through Serving Others
When we stand confident in our position in Christ and embrace the purpose that God has for us, we are in a good place to minister to the needs of others.
Freely we receive and freely we give ourselves to serve others. International leadership coach, John Maxwell, encourages us to "add value" to other people's lives.
Focus Verse: "I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35, NKJ)
Jesus described the criteria for greatness when he was on earth and here are some examples that illustrate it:
- To be great you must be a servant (Matthew 20:26)
- Those who humble themselves like a child is the greatest in the kingdom (Matthew 1:4)
- Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, but those who humble themselves will be exalted (Matthew 23:12)
- The tax collector was justified because he humbled himself (Luke 18:4).
Our calling as Christian women is to servant-hood. Serving others is God's criteria for greatness. Let us make the choice to serve, and experience true greatness.
What does it Take for You to be Happy?
We Find Our Sufficiency in Christ
Many Christian women are plagued with feelings of inadequacy. They compare themselves with others and feel that they are not good enough. But that's a lie! Our sufficiency in of God.
Yes, that's it! While we might not feel qualified based on our training and experiences or even what people have told us all our lives, God's Word tells us that he makes us qualified.
Focus Verse: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NKJ).
Whose report will we believe? It's time to stop listening to the put-downs of others, and the lies of Satan that bombard our minds. Let us spend time meditating on what the Word of God says about.
Through a revelation of God’s Word in our spirits, we can come to a genuine understanding that our strength comes from God, and we are sufficient in him. So even in tough times, we can find strength in God. The Apostle Paul says when we are weak, then are we strong in God (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Woman of Courage: Elizabeth McCormick
We are Courageous
We face adversities in our lives as Christian women, but we can be courageous in hard times because our anchor is in Christ Jesus. When trouble comes we dig even deeper into God's Word and refuse to budge. We stand on what God says about us and how he tells us to deal with trying situations.
An endearing quality of the women who stood out in the Bible was their courage in extremely difficult situations. Read the stories of women like:
- Ruth (Ruth 1:16 - 18)
- Hannah (1 Samuel 1)
- Deborah (Judges 4 and 5)
- Esther (Esther 4)
- The Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4: 8-37)
- Mary the mother of Jesus (Luke 1: 26-38)
Take, for example, the charming story of a young woman called Esther in the Old Testament. She became queen at a time when there was a plot to destroy, her people, the Jews. She responded to her uncle Mordecai's challenged to intervene on behalf of her people (Esther 4).
Despite the likelihood that she could have been killed, after three day's fasting, she entered the king's presence to make a request on the behalf of her people. She said, “so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16).
Focus Verse: "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV).
In the video, Elizabeth McCormick former Black Hawk Pilot in the US Army shares her story of determination and courage to overcome the obstacles on her way to qualify as a pilot. She explains that she learned not to take on the belief system of others. She says, "You have to be sure of your beliefs ... and don't allow other people's beliefs to sway you."
What is the situation you are facing today? You too can be strong and courageous in face of whatever the circumstance you are in because God is with us.
Walking as a Confident Christian Woman
Confident Women Moving Forward
As Jesus’ followers, women can experience life to its fullest. He came to give us abundant life (John 10: 10).
Our heavenly Father wants his daughters to enjoy rich, satisfying lives. How we see ourselves has great influence on our happiness and self-esteem. We must accept and embrace the significance of who we are in Christ. We must know deep in our hearts that we are loved unconditionally by God.
Yes, life throws us many challenges, but we must never allow these difficulties to prevent us from believing that as Christian women, God has much more for us.
Let us be courageous and stand on God's Word, believing what he says about us and not what the world or our circumstances say. Then we can move forward with the confidence that comes through knowing Christ.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Heavenly Father, thank you for your work of grace through Jesus Christ that I am called your daughter. By the power of your Holy Spirit, help me to understand what it really means to be in Christ so that he can shine forth through me as a testimony to those around me. I move forward, confident in you. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.
— Prayer of Thanksgiving
© 2014 Yvette Stupart