Pride, Low Self-Esteem and Hearing God: Part Two of Four
One form that pride takes in our lives is low self-esteem. Did you know that when we criticize or judge others we do this because we often have problems with low self-esteem? We pick at the stuff in other people’s lives (judgment) and as a result we feel better about ourselves (elevating ourselves which is pride). But this feeling doesn’t last because in doing this we are also judging ourselves and the judgment we pass on ourselves tends to be more critical than our judgment of others. We tend to be really hard on ourselves.
What does judging yourself sound like? “I should have… I could have… I wish I had… How could I have said…? How could I have done…?”
Low self-esteem is one of the major contributing factors in a form of pride. Low self-esteem causes us to present a strong front with others; like we are all together yet inside we are harboring feelings of inadequacy or fear. This is pride. Often we over inflate ourselves to distract away from our feelings of inadequacy. Pride!
When self-esteem is low we are often manipulated by fear:
- Fear that our inadequacies will be exposed
- Fear that the truth will come out
- Fear that our masks will be removed
- Fear of exposure or vulnerability
- Fear of humiliation
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
Often we look to others as a primary source of our self-worth. This is dangerous because it turns us into people pleasers. When we are stuck feeling that we need to make a good impression on others in order to feel good about ourselves then we are serving people instead of God. We can’t serve two masters. When our need for affirmation and approval is so strong that we look to others instead of God for approval, we are proud, doing it our way instead of God’s way.
Can you see the relationship between low self-esteem and pride?
Where there is pride there is a warped vision and blindness, this creates misalignment and worse yet, it is idolatry. We all have this pride (based on low self-esteem) within us; no one is exempt from this struggle. Everyone struggles with some level of inadequacy. Our culture tells us that you need to look a certain way to be happy, you need certain things to be happy, that approval comes from achievement and so on. Low self-esteem requires inner healing. I would suggest attending an Encounter Retreat (even if you have gone before) as well as getting personal ministry.
Characteristics of low self-esteem
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Lack of confidence
- Distrust of yourself
- Feel shame about yourself
- Lack acceptance of yourself (your abilities, your body, etc.)
- Avoid getting close and personal with others
- Feel rejection
Next blog post - God's Ideal for us; healthy self-esteem (identity)!