Midweek Push

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 
(1 Samuel 16:7)

Exalted Over Low Self-Esteem

Only 2% of women think they are beautiful. 90% of women want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance. Three-fourths of girls with low self-esteem engage in negative activities, such as disordered eating, bullying, smoking, or drinking. 57% of rock music videos portray women as a sex object, a victim, as unintelligent, or in a condescending way. We are constantly degraded in the media, the workplace, schools, casual conversation, and sadly even amongst our church families. And we wonder why so many women are suffering from low self-esteem.

Let us make this disclaimer before we proceed further with being exalted over low self-esteem: There’s a big difference in needing professional help and making personal changes. We believe there are certain cases that require professional assistance, even medication; however these lessons are primarily geared toward the choices we make and the changes we can begin to make with God on our side.

Have you ever compared yourself to another woman you see at the gym because she looks thinner and fitter than you? You start calling yourself names (fat, ugly, lazy) and make the personal choice to diet obsessively with the latest weight-loss craze, mixing all kinds of fruits and vegetables in your water, or over-exercising to be and look like them…not knowing what she did to look the way she does! There isn’t enough lemon water or plank positions you can try, to change how you really feel about yourself inside. What/who you compare yourself to says a lot about how you feel about yourself.

We wholeheartedly believe that some of our self-esteem issues spring from the personal choices we make which keep us bound in states of sadness, unworthiness, and negativity. Trying to be like others reduces who we are; and when we don’t know, love, or believe in ourselves, we have a hard time feeling exalted! The problem with low self-esteem is that you are emotionally so low, spiritually so down, mentally so damaged, that you can’t imagine being lifted by anybody. Exaltation is foreign to the one swimming in low-ness.

Nevertheless, God has exalted us! He calls us beautiful from the inside out! He sees our heart and our worth “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7)! We were worth the shed blood of Jesus on the cross, ladies! If we want to be exalted over low self-esteem we have to stop holding on to the one person who said we were ugly, fat, no-good, or stupid long ago. Today, someone may ask you why you talk so bad about yourself, and you may go back 20 years to that one person who talked about you, because they were going through their own self-esteem issues at the time. Stop holding onto hurt.

Self-esteem is inward. There needs to be an internal resolution to being exalted over low self-esteem. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts because honestly we are not seeing ourselves as God sees us. We try to hide how we’re really feeling, when we need to expose our pain. There isn’t enough makeup in the word to cover up ugly thoughts. Maybelline won’t mask your misery. Cover Girl can’t conceal your crushed spirit. We become overwhelmed by our own internal pressures and anxieties that we place on ourselves in order to measure up to what the world calls beautiful, smart, or powerful. There has to be a change within that will create a change on the outside. Expose the pain, so we can change!

Also, stop looking at others in their broken state; stop looking at yourself in your broken state, and let's start seeing each other as healthy and healed! Remember when we discussed joy, we stated it’s not about what happens to us, it’s what happens in us. The same applies to being exalted over low self-esteem. You may be laid off (happened to you), but what’s happening in you (trust, fear, expectancy of God to provide)? You’ve suffered many failed relationships (happened to you), but what’s happening in you (dependency on God, intimacy with Him, patience and purity)? They talked about you when you dedicated your life back to God (happened to you), but what’s happening in you (redemption, rejection, forgiveness, renewal)? Regardless of what’s happened to us, we can choose what happens in us!

Satan uses a negative stronghold like low self-esteem to bring up guilt, rejection, and loss within the child of God. But GOD has exalted us over those emotions. Emotions come and go, but truth stands firm forever. The truth is, we are somebody in Jesus! When we learn and practice daily to see ourselves as worthy, we can look in the mirror and say, “I love me, I am worth it, I am precious, I am blessed, I am forgiven, I am redeemed, I am purified, I am healed, I am whole, I am loved, I have joy, etc.” Say it until you start to believe it, and then live it, like you mean it!

What emotions are keeping you feeling low? How will you be exalted over low self-esteem today? 

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