It isn’t every day that someone gives you a really good compliment. In fact, you might go quite some time without one. If your self-esteem were based on compliments so few and far between, you would have really low self-esteem. Of course, the opposite is true. You are more likely to hear of something that you have done poorly, of some piece of bad advice you gave, of some badly produced job you tried. Again, if your self-esteem were based on such “gifts” from others, you would have really low self-esteem.
It seems this fallen world is designed more for creating and fostering low self-esteem than it is building a good self-image. And if it could help you build a good self-image, it would be fruitless because there is nothing good about us in our fallen state. So what’s a person to do!
As the old church song says, “Look and live! Look to Jesus now and live!” It may be an old song, but it still is good news. We can look to Jesus, we can see Him as He is, we can be fashioned in his perfect image. It still is possible to put off the old life with all its hangups and faults, and put on the new life which is so graciously given us by Jesus. Hallelujah! It is possible!
It is so important that Jesus be formed in us. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” What good news. We don’t have to try to be somebody; we just have to let Him be Himself in us. We don’t have to live from one compliment to another, or endure from one criticism to another. Instead, we can compare ourselves with Jesus, Who is ever showing us by His Spirit what He is doing within us.
So instead of looking at your successes and failures, look to Jesus! He is all success and no failure — and He lives fully in us. He is the source of our self-esteem, for He esteems us worthy of His love. His creation, fallen and in a fallen world, is the only object of His love. What more do you need to feel good about yourself?