15 February 2010

My Campaign Against Self-Esteem

Just in case my two or three readers think that I am out of line when I say that high self-esteem is dangerous, please take the time to watch this interview on Good Morning America. The recent horrific shootings in Alabama on the Huntsville campus prompted a look at the suspect, Amy Bishop. During the interview with an expert on profiling, Dr. Michael Welner, Bill Weir asks about the differences between men and women who commit mass shootings / murders and the expert finds a commonality: high self-esteem.

Do I think everyone with self-esteem will commit a mass shooting? No. But the sinful preoccupation with yourself and your accomplishments, abilities, wants and desires does lead to having less regard for everyone else. That is dangerous. Any of us are capable of the most heinous sins imaginable when given the right set of circumstances and provocations. Thinking more highly of yourself than you do others lowers your threshold of tolerance making the likelihood of hurting someone increase. We hear about the shootings and murders but there are many more ways of destroying someone's life. Words and inaction can be as deadly as an AK-47.

My disdain for the self-esteem movement does not mean I want to see people be miserable and lack confidence. I don't wish that on anyone. I am dumbfounded that the body of Christ panders such nonsense as if it were gospel. We all carry the Imago Dei. We are made in the image of God. Our worth is defined by this and not what we accomplish in life. Our confidence is in Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our faith. Nothing else.

Psalm 119:128
128 Therefore I esteem right all {Thy} precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way.

Philippians 2:3-7
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;
4 do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men.

1 Peter 5:5-6
5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,
3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 {There is} one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

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