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Christ-Generated Self-Esteem

"Our old self was crucified with Him." (Rom. 6:6) So, "you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3) Therefore, what’s the first thing Father did when you came to Jesus? Killed you! So, you’re dead, right? Nope. He didn’t leave you dead any more than He left Jesus dead. You’re dead "to" some things-your past and the power that would control you through that. You were reborn in Christ’s resurrection (See 1 Pet. 1:3). You see, God had no plan to "make something beautiful of your life" as the song goes. The plan is: Kill that sinner-critter, then restart him/her through a brand new Man–a God-loving Man, Jesus, the "last Adam (Hebrew for man–SEE 1 Cor. 15:45)." So, you’re no longer the same sinner-man descendant of the first Adam, who came to Jesus in faith. That person was crucified. You’re a saint now! But, you can only enjoy your new identity by acting like it’s true. Faith is acting like God tells the truth. God wishes all Christians would believe both their former life and former identity were deleted and start nurturing their new life and identity. Your new, permanent identity is your spirit and soul (personality your physical component (body) is earthy, temporal and expendable; it’s a throwaway container. Sure, enjoy the temporal blessings God provides by installing us in temporal earthsuits, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the folly of gathering your self-image eggs in an earthsuit basket that’s destined for the compost pile. It’s Miracle Grow, gang.

Psychology teaches that positive self-acceptance/esteem/image comes by believing three things about yourself: You belong, have worth, and are competent. I believe this. The problem is that each human develops independent, self-reliant methods of attaining these. But, we saints are under God’s plan now-Christ expressing His agape life through the new us saints. So, stop hitching your wagon to a dead horse every morning! No wonder you’re powerless. Your method’s wrong-headed. Trash it! You’ve been reopened under New Management–Jesus. Act like it! Your old way is death.

It’s a fact that you need to belong. So, if you could choose anyone in the universe to permanently belong to, who would you choose? Father, of course. Well, your wish came true! "You have been bought with a price." When you’re blood-bought by God you belong, period. Our five senses argue that this is so intangible while people, on the other hand, can give us tangible acceptance. It’s not sinful to desire human love; it’s a matter of priority. God insists that we embrace His unchanging acceptance as our primary Source for satisfying our need to belong. This, alone, enables us to override the pain of loss or rejection.

OK, what about our worth, our value? Can Jesus satisfy our need for self-esteem? Yes! He’s the only foolproof Source available. God fixed the game. You see we determine the value of something that’s purchased by its cost. If a buyer pays $20,000 for a car, in the buyer’s estimation money and car are interchangeable-one is worth the other. When God saw you on the auction block He said, "I’ll pay my beloved Son, Jesus, for that slave, even though the tag on the neck says "As Is–No Returns." I’ll crucify and then personally rebirth him/her into my Forever Family." To portray this, imagine Jesus on one end of a balance scales and you on the other. What are you worth? Jesus! That’s the Buyer’s statement of your value! Here is self-worth "where neither moth nor rust can corrupt." Live like it! Enjoy it! Marvel at it!

Now, what about competency? While most Believers strive to be stronger, God says, "My power shows up best in weak people" (2 Cor. 12:9, LB). Gideon had 32,000 soldiers to war against 135,000 bad guys. Those 4-to-1 odds would cause most generals to execute Plan B! But God said, "Nope, still danger of you guys taking the credit when I whup up on ’em." So He kept reducing Gideon’s troops till only 300 survived the cuts. That’s 450-to-1 odds! And hey, God didn’t choose the best fighters. He didn’t need their puny help! Check out the role He delegated to them in His battle strategy. Each man carried a torch in one hand and a trumpet in the other. Do you detect a problem? They had no free hands for sword and shield! God wanted the total credit that He deserved for whipping Midian! He wanted them to tell their friends, "You’re not going to believe this! Lemme tell you what happened last night!"

Folks, God changed His M.O. He wants the credit for the victories He gives us. It’s always by His grace-sometimes working through us, sometimes working without us, sometimes working in spite of us! As Jack Taylor says, "The amazing thing is that God’s going to win even though we’re on His side." When we’re trusting our resources we’re not ready; when we’re trusting Christ’s strength through us we’re ready.

Abandoning faith in yourself is God’s battle plan and His peace plan. Such brokenness is mandatory if we’re to be conformed to the image of Christ. Now, don’t fall for the devil’s lie that God loves our breaking process. God enjoys picking up the pieces and lovingly holding us while He bears our burdens. God is for us. Jesus on the cross is all the proof of this we need.

So it’s all of Jesus and none of us. Self-reliance is not noble; it’s sin. It’s Satan’s strategy, and he’s deceiving all who believe personal strength is admirable, that independence is God’s goal for us. God seeks intimate personal involvement with us. He designed saints so that dependency upon Him is what’s best for us. Paul said, "Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God." Every day is Gideon revisited!

Athletes tell us self-confidence is imperative; CEOs say it’s #1; media stars sing its praises. But, God says, "Cursed is the man who trusts in humans and makes flesh his strength." Sober news for humans. While the world scores competency based upon our results, God scores competency based upon our method. How do you function? Independence flunks; self-reliance flunks; dependency upon Christ through us passes with colors flying. Indestructible self-esteem is Jesus’ free gift to you. God spells relief J-E-S-U-S. Are you building on the sand or on the Solid Rock?

About the Author

Bill founded Lifetime Guarantee Ministries to encourage people to experience the reality of Christ as life. His transparent, humorous, down-to-earth style and sense of humor made him one of the most effective teachers of his time. He communicated with great clarity the full extent of what God accomplished in Christ and what that means for the Christian identity. Although Bill passed away in June 2011, his messages are timeless and will continue to impact generations to come.