Find True Self-Esteem in Esteeming Others
He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; and who cherishes understanding prospers.
What irony is here. We know wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord and ends in obedience to His commandments (Psalm 111:10). It is a path of selflessness, self-denial, and even self-loathing, not self-love (Luke 14:26). Yet the proverb says he who gets wisdom loves his own soul. How is this true?
As Jesus said, the person who seeks to save his life will lose it, and the one who seeks to lose his life for Christ’s sake will find it (Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35). Therefore, I find true love or esteem for my own soul, not through self-promotion, but through selfless devotion to the gospel and to others. Real “self-esteem,” then, is really “other-esteem.”
Our problem is not that we think too lowly of ourselves, but too highly. The Bible says people are desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). We are dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1). But God, who is rich in mercy, makes us alive in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-5). He opens our blind eyes to see our need for a Savior (Acts 13:48).
Receiving wisdom from God, the believer in Christ has a desire to walk according to his new nature. The new soul—regenerated by God—is to be loved, for it is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. This is the true wisdom which comes from God. The person who hates this wisdom harms himself and loves death (Proverbs 8:36).
Paul. Paul once put his confidence in the flesh and took pride in his fleshly wisdom. He claimed to be faultless in legalistic righteousness. He had very high self-esteem and loved his life as a zealous Jew. Then he had an encounter with Christ and his mind and heart changed. The things he formerly saw as wise, he now considered rubbish. He had found newness of life in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:3-9).
Prayer of Application
Heavenly Father, thank You for the new heart You have implanted in me. By Your Spirit, help me to deny self and seek to obey Your command to love and exalt others.
Copyright 2016 – Robert C. Beasley