Geetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand the value of self esteem.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Value of Self Esteem
"As it is written, the just shall live by faith." Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 17.
Brothers and sisters, self esteem is related to self respect. In fact they are so closely related that one
cannot really talk about one without the other. In a sense self respect is the mirror that reflects self
esteem. And so having dealt with the mirror of self respect, we shall now deal with its image. Self
esteem is a spiritual quality but not in the exact sense as self respect. Self respect is the cause; self
esteem is the effect. We see immediately that the loss of self respect or the impairment of it also
causes a loss of self esteem or an impairment of it.
Low self esteem usually begins in the home where the child is reared. Here the child is not able to
critically appraise and accept values gradually learned by his parent's assessment of him. Words to
the child, like "you are no good or you are just like your father or mother" are commonly heard in
the more extreme cases. In other cases the child may not be wanted, and the family views the child
not as an object of love and pride but as an unwanted intrusion into their lives. And in some other
cases, the child was left in the aftermath of a couple's breakup. And even though the mother or father
tried to bravely live up to their responsibility of solely rearing the child by themselves, without a
spiritual perspective of the meaning of parenting, resentment is bound to rear its ugly and most
unspiritualized head. And this resentment is unduly transmitted to the child even when the material
aspects of child rearing may be faithfully executed. But in most cases the cause of low self esteem
in the child is usually the product of the parent's own sense of low self esteem.
It is important to consider that the child has no contrasting experience with which to compare this
assessment; he readily accepts what he is told about himself. As the child develops within this
distorted value system, it often happens that the child is not even aware that they have low self
esteem. The child accepts its state as normal until a crisis comes in the form of a different and higher
value system. For the first time, the child has a contrasting value system. And often times this
contrasting value system has a devastating effect on the child in that it makes what was heretofore
unconscious, conscious. The child becomes aware that there is a flaw. And it shows up as the child
interacts with others of the larger world. The social interaction of a flawed character is like trying
to mix oil with water. No satisfaction results from the child's effort, and the child is left with a
reinforced image that he/she is unworthy.
This sense of unworthiness causes the child to engage in self destructive behavior morally and often
in the physical sense(teenage suicide, drug abuse, and sexual promiscuity.) The more the child tries
to get what it wants or needs, the more it is rejected since it goes about it in the wrong way. The child
is urged on to strive for fulfilment of his basic needs and desires, but he cannot find a way to unlock
the key of success and satisfaction. Since low self esteem operates on an entirely different plane than
normal self esteem, there is no opportunity for them to intersect. This is a downward spiraling cycle
that if not intercepted rapidly speeds towards death and destruction.
But more often than not the child manages to make his way into the adult world, where his
maladaptive decisions continue to play havoc. These same value distortions are reflected in every
phase of the person 's life. Though by adulthood the person has learned to hide some of the
manifestations of low self esteem (whereas other manifestations of low self esteem seen in childhood
are converted into other forms), this negative driving force continues to reap the same harvest of
unsatisfactory adjustments to the requirements of life. And since shame becomes a part of their
failure, they keep their own counsel, and secrecy becomes a way of life. "If you don't know nothing,
you can't tell nothing." This is an ingenious attempt by the self to limit the spread to others of one's
Restoration of the individual to the true standards of self esteem is to found only in the spiritual
world. "Behold the man." The spiritual vision of Jesus provides a perfect example of one who
achieved perfected self respect and consequent perfected self esteem. Here is one who started out
just like you and I, but early discovered the secret to self respect and self esteem. This was in the
incarnation of God, condescending to take on the form of the human to show his children the way
of true respect and true self esteem. All that is needed is for the individual to abandon their
unproductive efforts, to abandon their selfish goals for life, and to grasp the spirit of his life. By
submitting to the Father's will, and dedicating one's self to doing the Father's will, one immediately
becomes conscious of being a son or daughter of the Father. This consciousness carries with it the
consciousness of self respect and the sure consequence of self esteem. By a simple act of faith, the
individual is transformed from a being that is preoccupied with itself to a being that is preoccupied
with the divine self, the transforming task of serving other selves, of representing the Father to other
brothers and sisters, and the delightful practice of worship.
Such a one that seeks to represent the Father through the Son is truly a person with self esteem. And
while we acknowledge that this decision to represent the Father cannot change the consequences of
previous temporal decisions, it does ensure that no further offspring coming from the individual will
be given a defective sense of worth. And while we recognize that negative emotional feelings of low
self esteem may from time to time enter the consciousness of the individual, owing to the failure to
always "Behold the Man," we suggest that at such times the individual right there and then seek to
know the Father's will, thereby restoring the vision of the lovely divine Son. A consistent attitude
of prayer and worship will firmly knit the divine image into the individual's soul, and one day of you,
too, it will be said, "Behold the Man."
This concludes today's message on understanding the value of self esteem. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.