Saturday, June 17, 2017

Self-Esteem And God-Esteem

The proponents of the self-esteem psychology claim that good self-esteem makes one a better person. I smelled a rat when I first heard that, and I found a rat – quite a big rat indeed.

The problem is as follows. This concept creates a reverse set of incentives. If you have high standards for yourself, you will find it harder to meet them than if you have low standards for yourself. The concept of self-esteem rewards low standards and punishes high standards. The result is people with low standards running the show and the people with higher standard left licking their boots. The bad people win and the good people lose. And that is the reverse of the above claim.

I had an acquaintance who talked about a friend of his. His friend was good at many different things, and my acquaintance developed a view that he had high self-esteem. His friend's response was, “No, I know myself through God.”

In fact it makes every bit of sense to seek to know yourself through God. How you see yourself – and how others see you – is functional to your – and their – perspective. That means that it is corrupted by whatever beam is in your or in their eye, and all of the above create a distorted picture of who you are – a picture that is a function of whatever convictions you or they hold, however wrong these convictions may be. Whereas God does not have a beam in His eye, and He is the perfect mirror that reflects to you what you are in full clarity.

I do not strive for self-esteem. I strive for righteousness in the eyes of God. And in the month and a half in which I have been doing that, I have grown more as a person than in the previous 27 years.

The most beautiful thing about this is that you achieve personal goodness that way regardless of your psychology. Even if you are a sociopath or a narcissist, striving for esteem in the eyes of God leads you toward rightful conduct. I have found psychological solutions to be tedious. Whereas with God you can rise above your psychology, however bad it may be, and become a better person.

Now I have been raised as an atheist, and even after I was no longer an atheist I still was militanty anti-Christian for a long time. I now realize how foolish that stance had been. I believe that I have had experiences of Jesus, and what I experienced has been the wisest, kindest and most honorable presence that I have ever known.

Forget self-esteem. Strive for esteem in the eyes of God. And this way become a genuinely good human being, whatever your background or your psychological makeup may be.


Post a Comment

<< Home