Monday, November 16, 2009

Self-confidence or self-esteem?

I have been teaching my youth girls what the Bible says that God thinks about them. I am using a Bible study that is based on Psalm 45:11 that states that the "King is enthralled with your beauty." That thought captivated me and I began to wish that someone had told me this is high school. In my pre-teen and teenage years, I struggled with identity and what I was worth. My sense of worth and identity was damaged by abuse, abandonment, and genetics. Even though I was adopted, I never felt truly free from what happened to me as a baby. To hear that the God of all creation, thinks I am beautiful and would do anything(and did)so that I might be called a daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords was life changing. I wanted to share this with my teen girls in Sunday school. I wanted them to know that their self-worth should come from God and not from boys, accomplishments, or even their families.
I did some research on 2 terms: self-esteem and self-confidence. A major soap company had been promoting self-esteem among girls and women. I do think the idea is a great one but the concept is flawed. I believe that in America, we esteem ourselves too much. We are in an "all about me" generation and I don't think that we need to esteem ourselves anymore. I looked up the definition of self-esteem and this is what it says an "inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself" or "favorable impression of oneself". The synonym given was pride.
I, also, looked up the term for self-confidence and this is the definition "realistic confidence in one's own judgment, ability, power, etc" and "inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself."( synonyms given were assurance, poise, & self-respect. Now, while they seem to be similar, I think that being confidant is not the same as esteeming.
We can esteem someone that we don't even know like a president or a star. That doesn't mean that we have confidence in them. The same is true with ourselves. We can esteem ourselves without knowing who we really are. I didn't have confidence in myself until I knew whose I was. I know, now, from Whom my abilities & my gifts come. That has nothing to do with the way I look or act. My confidence comes from knowing that God sacrificed His Son so that I can come to Heaven and spend eternity there. He would rather die than to live without me. Philippians 4:13 states that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Now, that is confidence!
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