Friday, October 15, 2010

You Are Somebody--God Says So!

Use of the term "self-esteem" has exploded in recent decades. Whether it was right or not, years ago people didn't talk much how a person felt about him/herself. Maybe it was because people didn't have the time or leisure to worry about such things. Or, it might have been that folks looked at the world a little bit differently at that time. Things have changed though, and in the last 40 years or so we've been encouraged to not only explore how we feel about ourselves, we are told it is important to share our findings with others.

The increase in peoples' interest in self-esteem has led to a significant number of books and seminars on the subject with the purpose, of course, to help us feel better about ourselves. There is no doubt that how we view ourselves will affect greatly not only the way we feel, but how we live our lives. However, a positive self-esteem has to be based on something solid. In other words, if I feel good about myself, there has to be a reason for such feelings. For instance, if a young person works hard on a term paper and receives a high grade, he/she has reason to feel good about a job well done. On the other hand, if that same young person throws together a report in a few hours and receives a poor grade, then those good feelings are not appropriate.

A few years ago a speaker had several thousand people chanting, "I am somebody! I am somebody!" What exactly those folks meant when they shouted, "I am somebody" is up to debate, but it probably had to do with something like, "I deserve respect and you better do what I want." Every single human being deserves respect but to demand that just because we are alive we should get our way, that is another thing. Unfortunately, much of what is written and discussed concerning self-esteem today comes from that self-centered point of view.

This Sunday, as we continue to study the Apostles' Creed, we're going to learn what it means to confess, "I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth." What we'll find is that the true basis for our self-esteem is determined by Who made us. When we realize that our bodies, minds and special talents all are gifts from our Creator, well, that puts a whole different emphasis on how we feel about ourselves. From a Christian point of view, self-esteem is not based primarily on how we see ourselves, but rather on the fact that God himself made us. Not only that, he sent his Son to die in our place to bring us back into his family. The worth which God gives us is of eternal value. And it is that value which develops humility and compassion in us as we consider how much God has done for us. Whether you suffer from too much self-esteem or too little, understanding that the reason you are alive is solely because of God's express intent will enable you to see yourself and your life in a positive, productive way that won't be subject to feelings or pride. And what a difference that will make in your life! Join us this Sunday, October 17 at 10:00 am.

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.