Esteem

What is the nature of a Christian’s self esteem?

  • In the context of the New Testament, “esteem” is a part of the family of words based on hegemony: decisions based on godly common sense as opposed to expedience or coercion.
  • “Self” is translated with attached pronouns (g., himself, herself, yourself), encompassing many Greek words, generally centered on autos, the self.
  • In general, Christians neither think highly of themselves nor badly of themselves. The choice is not high or low self-esteem in the sense given by modern psychology, but an esteem focused on others, which is the foundation of the commandment of love.
  • Passages which connect a thought like “esteem” with a thought like “self”
    • Have Jesus brand of love, totally focused on the needs of others. Philippians 2:3 – 7  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not for his own interests but for the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men.
    • Value members of the body who lead. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 – 13  And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.  (See also Hebrews 13:7, 17, and 24)
    • Value Jesus. Hebrews 11:24 – 26  By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he looked to the reward.
    • Do what is best for the body, of which you are a part. Ephesians 5:25 – 28  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies: he who loves his wife loves himself.
    • Consider yourself spiritual and equal with other Christians in ability to help and ability to be tempted. Galatians 6:1 – 5  Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.  Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.  For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, deceives himself.  But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For each one shall bear his own load.  (See also 2 Corinthians 10:7)
    • Warn against “self-esteem” Romans 12:3  For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each a measure of faith.
    • My estimation of myself is unimportant. 2 Corinthians 10:18  For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord approves.  1 John 3:20  But if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
    • Self image is based on faith. Jude 20 – 21  But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

All passages with derivatives of esteem:

  • 2233 hegeomai account, chief, count, esteem, governor, judge, rule, suppose, think
    • Matthew 2:6 For out of you shall come a Ruler (prophecy about Jesus)
    • Luke 22:26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.
    • Acts 7:10 Joseph was governor over Egypt
    • Acts 14:12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief
    • Acts 15:22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely Judas who was also called Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
    • Acts 26:2 I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews.
    • Philippians 2:3 – 7 See above
    • Philippians 2:25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus
    • Philippians 3:7 – 8 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:12 – 13 See above
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:14 – 5 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.  Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
    • 1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
    • 1 Timothy 6:1 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters as worthy of all honor
    • Hebrews 10:29 Of how much worse punishment do you suppose will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
    • Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
    • Hebrews 11:24 – 26 See above
    • Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24 Church leaders…that have rule over you
    • James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials
    • 2 Peter 1:13 Yes, I think it right as long as I am in this tent to stir you up by reminding you
    • 2 Peter 2:13 And will receive the wages of unrighteousness as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime
    • 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us.
    • 2 Peter 3:14 -15 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found in Him in peace, without spot and blameless and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…