Low self-esteem among women and men is much too common. But, when you look at our influences, it’s no wonder that we all have issues of some sort.
We raise our children to be seen before being heard. We idolize dolls and characters with no apparent flaws. We put beautiful people on pedestals and pay all kinds of money to get a piece of what they have.
There are pressures all around us to look a certain way, be a certain way, act a certain way and live a certain lifestyle that seems impossible for the majority of us to reach.
Unable to live up to one standard or another, we often find ourselves wrestling with insecurity and burdened by low self-worth. As a result, we search for worth and value in things that don’t matter, spend money to prove (at least to ourselves) that we’re worth every penny, and allow others to define us because we are hesitant to define ourselves. We are afraid. We’re afraid of being categorized as unworthy or inconsequential.
The problem with this fear and insecurity is that it leaves us susceptible to sin. When we think less of ourselves, we leave ourselves open to doing things that God never intended for us to do. King Saul was the perfect example.
Having been called by God and anointed by Samuel as king over Israel, Saul was positioned for great impact. He was the son of a wealthy family, stood taller than the average man, and even had good looks. He had witnessed signs of God’s presence with him and had the following of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the various tribes of Israel.
With all that Saul had, it seemed that he would be the last person to struggle with low self-esteem. Yet, after Saul disobeyed God, Samuel pointed out the real problem: that Saul considered himself little when God, in fact, considered him big.
“So Samuel said, ‘When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?’” (1 Samuel 15:17, NKJV)
You and I are not too far from Saul. God made us in his image. He wrote our names on the palm of his hand. He breathed the breath of his Spirit within us and purchased us with his blood. God called us temples of his Spirit and invested unique gifts and talents within each of us for the good of the world. We are anointed and called, wonderfully made, endowed with the best of the best that God could give. Why would we consider ourselves little when God clearly considers us big?
The challenge for all of us, especially women, is to learn to see ourselves as God sees us. We must learn to re-evaluate our lives according to God’s standards. While we may see our mistakes, God sees his sufficient grace. While we may see our shortcomings, God sees our limitless worth.
All of this is possible because of Jesus Christ. If you are in Christ and he is in you, then you must see yourself as God sees Christ. Sure, you’re not perfect, but you are loved. And because you are loved, you have been called and chosen for a purpose that goes beyond anything you could ever imagine.
So, the next time you see yourself in the mirror, choose to see what God sees. Live in the “bigness” of who God made you to be and refuse to let small thinking derail God’s plans for your life.
Dr. Nicole Martin is author of the book “Made to Lead: Empowering Women for Ministry.”