Friday, April 13, 2012

Self Esteem: The Devils Doctrine

"For God knows that in the day you eat of it(the forbidden fruit) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil," Genesis 3:5.
     We hear it everywhere.  Our kids are taught it the moment they get to the government education camp(school).  Oprah peddles it like she got it from Mt. Sinai.  Worse yet, churches and Christian organizations weave it seamlessly in their sermons and teaching as if it were the very gospel itself.  It is unseemly and unbiblical and something that enslaves people in the worst possible way: the clanging chains of self importance.  This Hellish doctrine is none other than self-esteem.
     I'm not one for studies, but when a secular study torpedoes secular gospel, it must be noticed.  One study showed that one particular group had the highest self esteem of them all.  One group had drunken deepest from the well of secular doctrine and had applied it to their lives above all others.  That group is: gang members.  They do think highly of their criminality and that may well explain why they repeat their behavior over and over again.  The Bible teaches that "we are to esteem others more highly than ourselves," according to Paul.  What made Moses so great?  Was he a towering intellect who basked in his genius?  Was he a type A personality who wouldn't accept defeat or take no for an answer?  Did he have an inflated self image that allowed him to dominate others?  No.  He was humbled under the mighty hand of God.  The Bible says that Moses was the most humble man who ever lived.  His greatest stumbling block was his anger.  His anger got him in trouble and drew God's righteous chastisement.  Gang members would do well to head the lesson of Moses, both good and bad.
     It seems that self esteem is the oldest heresy.  Go back to the garden where a slippery serpent has slithered next to Eve.  Listen to what he says to her, "You will not surely die."  He directly refuted God's own word and called Him a liar.  Eve should have stopped him right there.  Better yet, Adam should have stepped forward and rebuked the Devil right there.  But the serpent continued, "For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."  There is much to discuss in this verse but we will concentrate on one part, "you will be like God."  Satan's temptation is the same our elites are tempting us with today.  They are saying, "you are special, wonderful and just need to believe in yourself.  If you fail, that is ok, we won't discipline you.  You can determine what is right and wrong for yourself.  You will know what is good and what is evil for yourself."  Eve gave in to Satan's temptation and the world fell into sin, death and disease.  Self esteem had done its dirty work.  Self esteem is rebellion against God, plain and simple and can never bring joy and fulfillment to an individuals life.  In fact, one man demonstrated how to find life's greatest treasure, "esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he looked to the reward," Hebrews 11:26.  Our friend Moses found his esteem in something far more precious than himself or even life most licentious riches: in Jesus Christ, even in the midst of pain and suffering.  His self esteem was no doubt, driven into the dirt by Pharaohs and the evils of this world, but he kept the faith, even without ever having seen Jesus Christ.
     Dear friends, we are on the other side of Christ's life, death and resurrection.  We have the power of the Holy Spirit coursing through our members as we surrender to Him.  "Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God."  What was invisible to Moses, we can see more clearly and let us "Keep our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and now sits at the right hand of the Father," Hebrews 12:2.  Finally, brothers and sisters, let us learn, live and love the blessed gospel of our great God and Savior.