Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Clarification

Well, after my last post, I've talked with several people and had a few comments on the quote I put in there. I was kind of seeing if that quote could stand on it's own and make sense, but it doesn't. For several reasons I was trying to just include part of the author's statement. But here you go, I'll give it all to you. It is from Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem- Twelve Keys to Finding Peace, by Ester Rasband. The chapter is titled "Stand ready to sacrifice your self-esteem".

"As I studied the baffling and plentiful writings on self-esteem, the more I read of secular things, the more I found myself concentrating on the scriptures. I began to see how placing importance on self-esteem itself instead of on the "just and right" and its "management" has evolved into mass selfishness in every age. When we believe we must feel worthy in and of ourselves to think well of ourselves, we look skeptically at the need for growth: it threatens our self-satisfaction. We must not look up to others, because we can't consider ourselves any less. We must not give ourselves constructively critical evaluation, because we must believe we deserve life's rewards just as we are. Preoccupied with the self's status quo, we eschew growth and therefore forfeit progress toward eternal life. Peace doesn't come. Insecurity remains." (page 16)

Yeah, yeah, it makes perfect sense now. What was I thinking?! I kind of feel like I've wasted a day in preparation, but I've also had some great conversations on the subject. So, it is what it is. The question was brought up as to what the author meant by "look up to others". What do you think? I was thinking it was referring to admiring others. If you admire someone else that means they can be better than you and, by the world's definition, that would lower your self-esteem. Admiring someone should be a good thing (provided it is a righteous quality), and we should always be trying to improve ourselves to become more like God. The quote above is a little confusing since she has used the negative before what we really should be doing. Make sense?

Here's a couple more quotes from C.S. Lewis that I liked on the subject. (I'm really going to have to read his book Mere Christianity someday.)

"If you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble- delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible." (pg 114)

and what's the opposite of humility? Pride...

"As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you." (pg 111)

I suppose, if you don't like the idea of giving up your self-esteem, you can use the word pride instead. It is my understanding that Sister Rasband is using the word self-esteem like many people use the word pride.

Thanks for all your input thus far! Keep it coming.

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