In follow up to my Oprah post, I wanted to speak to you about how to have positive self esteem, from a Biblical perspective. To understand the first key to positive self esteem, we must put off the solutions of the world. If you are a Christian, the best way to have a good self image is to rest in Jesus Christ, follow God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, and to be authentic. Now here’s a big problem that Oprah has. I believe Oprah has low self esteem. No way … you say. Oprah is one of the most positive and uplifting people I have ever heard. Well let me explain. Oprah says; I am a Christian, but … “I’m a free-thinking Christian who believes in my way, but I don’t believe that it’s the only way, with six billion people here on the planet.”
Well in America, thanks to our constitution, Oprah is free to believe whatever she likes, just as are you and I are, as well. And from a purely human American perspective, I greatly respect Oprah and all that she has done and accomplished. But then … Oprah teaches principles that are the exact opposite of Jesus’ teachings and the Bible. That is a huge contradiction. She has lied to her audience when she says, I am Christian and this is truth. Hypocrisy and dishonesty will always lead to a low self esteem. Yeah, but what if she believes what she is saying is true, you ask? Don’t misunderstand me, I am convinced that Oprah is a sincere person, who does many great things for people, and who sincerely believes she has found truth. But she also knows that this teaching is contrary to Jesus and the Bible and as a result, she knows that her claim to be Christian is not biblical. This leads unsuspecting Christians away from Christ and His teachings, and she knows that also. Authentic??? No … no, no!
I don’t want to spend a lot of time here, but more evidence: Oprah says: “god is a feeling, not a believing experience; and if god for you is still about a belief, then it is not truly god” Not only is the opposite of what God’s Word says; it is horrible news for a person who is focused on self esteem. Sorry Oprah, but feelings come and go, as good fortune comes and goes … look back to your childhood … remember Oprah. Read the story of Job. How would you be feeling, if that happened to you? I wonder how Oprah would be feeling today if she found out she had a terminal condition, and if heaven is just a fairy tale, as her guru implies: how low can you go? Beliefs in God’s promises will bring us good feelings about who we are in Christ, and bring our circumstances and feelings into the context of Jesus Christ, and His plans for us eternally. My worldly feelings and circumstances are irrelevant when I am rightly focused on my position in Christ. Self esteem Biblically could easily be deemed an errant idea. A more Biblically correct perspective would be Positive Christ Esteem. So why am I even discussing self esteem? Because I know a lot of Christians have been misguided on this one. It is about Jesus … not you!
I imagine that her “free thinking” has also led her to conclude that living in an unmarried sexual relationship is also no problem. Her views on homosexuality are similar. When you just make things up, you can believe whatever you want, because you are the god of your belief system. But none of these false beliefs will lead to positive self esteem. We can only have peace in our hearts when our heart and mind are focused on Jesus and His word. Everything else is temporal. Men’s ideas and philosophies may lead to temporary success, or temporary or false happiness. But that is what one puts on … like a new set of clothes … unfortunately … in the world the clothes always get dirty. It’s all form and no substance. God's Word is the truth and regardless of our free thinking, it never ends or changes: “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25
So if we want a positive self image, we need to be standing with the never-ending, never-changing truth. And that is Jesus Christ and God’s Word … the Bible. Any other way, will always lead to loss, pain, suffering, discouragement, and failure. All men are just like the flowers of the grass. Some men are very rich, powerful, persuasive, confident, charismatic, appealing and have a magnetic personality. This often leads to a false self esteem and false sense of security. But in the end, we all end up the same … none of those accomplishments or abilities can add a single moment to our life when our time has come to an end. Only Jesus Christ and the Holy Word of the Lord abides forever.
You need to read the scripture below because it is true. Not because it is what you want to hear or because it will show you the next big thing; but rather, because it is the truth. It has always been the truth, and it will always be the truth. When you stand on this truth, you can have confidence and positive self esteem. Why … because you will be focused on the redeemer.This scripture is God’s call to fundamentalism. I know that is a politically incorrect word in today’s society, but I am going out on a limb here. I don’t care. We must stand on God’s truth or America will suffer the consequences. Your best image is found deeply in His ways and His word. I want to have a happy, fulfilled, meaningful, purposeful, exciting, abundant, blessed, thankful, and love filled life. A life where I can experience all of the best that God has planned for me … my “free thinking” ways have not worked out very well so far. How about you?
When you read this scripture, consider all of the truths that have come to pass, all of the ways God has honored the promises to the people of Israel. But please understand that, less than 50% of present day Israel believes and follows the Bible. Jews by heritage, but the majority of the Israeli people are agnostic, atheist, or other religions. This has brought many negative consequences to God’s chosen people. The Jews truly have been blessed by the Lord. And remember you are part of God’s family, a chosen people, a royal priesthood. A home is reserved for you now in heaven. The Holy Spirit is your guide, and spiritually you are beyond the reach of the evil one.
Deuteronomy 6:1-25 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. 4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
10 “Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, 12 then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 “You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. 14 “You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, 15 for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth. 16 “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.
17 “You should diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you. 18 “You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to give your fathers, 19 by driving out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has spoken. 20 “When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What do the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the LORD our God commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 ‘Moreover, the LORD showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household; 23 He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.’ 24 “So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today. 25 “It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.
A number of years ago, Zig Ziglar told me a story I have never forgotten. Zig was driving to a conference in an area that was unknown to him. Once he realized that he was lost, Zig stop at the first opportunity to ask for directions. The man he met was so friendly, and very helpful. Zig did not want to be late for his scheduled speech. The man mapped out the directions for Zig, in specific detail. Finally convinced that he knew the way, Zig thanked his new friend and got back on the road, carefully following the directions. Well by now I bet you’ve guessed the end of this story. Two hours later Zig realized that he had gone 60 miles in the wrong direction. But wait a minute, he did exactly as he was advised. Was the friendly man playing a sick prank, or did he just make an honest mistake? That we will never know. But, regardless Zig was the innocent victim of his wrong advice. If only Global Positioning Systems GPS had been available back then. Unlike Zig and his miss-direction, we don't have to be lost. We always have a Biblical GPS system that we can check false teachings against: God's Word. God has commanded us to use it diligently. God calls His Word the sword of the Spirit. While researching false teachings in today's church, I have learned that a number of Christian pastors are leading their followers in the wrong direction. What should I do? I have been reluctant to share this material since some of these men I have come to greatly respect over the past thirty years. Do I have a choice? Well when millions of Christians are being led astray, it is our duty to expose false teachers. I am convinced that this is exactly what Jesus would lead us to do. We don’t need or want maps that lead us over the side of a cliff, regardless of the sincere intentions of the teacher.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. … And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
God Bless you my friends, Bob
Lesson 9: Grace-Motivated Obedience
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