(This is a re-post from Lily of the Valley. It was published at the beginning of this year.)
Reading in E. M. Bounds works on prayer (again!) I read about prayer and humility. His definition of humility is “to have a low estimate of ones self…” He includes some great little poems about humility:
“Never let the world break in,
Fix a mighty gulf between;
Keep me humble and unknown,
Prized and loved by God alone.”
“Let the world their virtue boast,
Their works of righteousness;
I, a wretch undone and lost,
Am freely saved by grace;
Other title I disclaim,
This, only this, is all my plea,
I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.
“O that now I might decrease!
O that all I am might cease!
Let me into nothing fall!
Let my Lord be all in all.”
Aren’t these wonderful?!? This is how I want to be. Sadly, I find I fall quite short.
Thinking about this, I was sitting at the table doing… something, and I heard Zig Ziglar talking to Papa. (Okay, so it was a recording!) Anyway, he was talking about self-esteem. And I, being ever so intellectual, was thinking, How can you possibly be both humble and esteem yourself well?
And being the wise and curious person that I am, :) I asked my dear and VERY wise Papa just that. (Well, I didn’t say those exact words…)
Well, being the wonderful Papa that he is, he shut off Mr. Ziglar (sorry Zig!), and explained to me that we should realize that God made us, and that he created us in His image. Therefore, to look down on ourselves would be to look down on one of His creations. So to a Christian, Self-esteem is really God-esteem. The only reason we are worth anything is because God created us and loved us and saved us. Without Him, we are utterly, completely worthless, helpless, and unsaved.
So I think you can figure out how that works out. We are humble because we realize that we are worthless and can’t save ourselves, and deserve the wrath of God. But we esteem the work that God has done in creating and saving and loving us.
Hopefully that made some sense! Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments!