Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Joel Osteen on Self-Esteem

Osteen writes in his book "Your Best Life Now," “Every moment that we go around with that weak worm-of-the-dust mentality, we’re eating more cheese and crackers….It’s time to step up to God’s dining table. God has prepared a fabulous banquet for you, complete with every good thing imaginable. And it has already been paid for. God has everything you need there – joy, forgiveness, restoration, peace, healing…” (84-85).

So how are we to view ourselves biblically? We get a clue from the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14). We first see the Pharisee, who prayed: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” It would appear that the Pharisee’s self-esteem is quite high.

As for the tax collector, “He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” The result? Jesus said “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus calls only sinners who grieve over their own sinfulness to be in communion with Him, not those who are interested in building their self-esteem or material possessions.