Thursday, February 7, 2008

Other Esteem

"I believed I could fly. I believed I could touch the sky. Then I jumped off of a building. And I fell straight to the ground."

Ok, those aren't exactly the words...

If you've ever watched American Idol, you've seen the dangers of the self-esteem movement, as aspiring stars deluded with the self-confidence that told them they sounded like a cross between Baby Face and Billy Joel, sounded more like a cat in heat.

Hitler believed in himself. Read excerpts of Mein Kampf if you don't believe me. And as G.K. Chesterton noted in his book, "Orthodoxy", lunatics also believe in themselves. In fact, the problem with a paranoid person is that they ONLY believe in themselves. Its not that they have lost their mind, its as if all they have left is their minds are they have abandoned everything EXCEPT reason.

Brittany Spears believes in herself and look at the emotional and mental mess she is in.

Another song lyric says, "Learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all." Kurt Cobain loved himself so much that he was willing to go so far as to commit suicide and therefore hurt others who loved him in order to escape the pain.

My Christian faith, typically casting a counter-cultural worldview, teaches in the concept of what I call "other esteem":

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself." - Philippians 2:3

Far from obsequiousness, this passage suggests that we should give our lives away to others. Christ taught:

"And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." - Matthew 10:38-39

I know non-christians often exhibit a phobia of Scripture quotations, and no wonder. Many times Christians quote them to cast judgement. But that is obviously not my intent.

I just want to suggest that the self-esteem movement is equivalent to someone who had a golden egg who was soooo intent on not losing that golden egg that they squeezed it until it cracked in their hands.

Esteem others and find that you are now more fully human! Start with me! Send me an e-mail and tell me how great I am! LOL!

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