For Spiritual Growth
Another in a series of tracts
for the edification of
To the born-again believer who has been saved by repentance toward God and
faith in Jesus Christ, a great promise is given:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them
that believe on his name:" John 1:12.
With this promise the Christian has the potential to be conformed to the
image of Christ (Romans 8:29), but sometimes his old sin nature gets the
best of him and hinders his spiritual growth. At times like this it is
good to have some golden nuggets from God's Word and someone willing to
point them out - as illustrated in the following dialogue.
How can I be of help to you?
I have somewhat of a dilemma.
What kind of dilemma?
Well, it goes like this. Occasionally, I feel compelled to prove myself to others and when I do I worry
about coming across as being a show off.
Give me an example of what you mean.
Well, let's say I donate something of value to the [local] church. I worry that if the members don't learn that I
gave it, then they might think I'm never generous. Yet, if I make them aware of what I had given, then
I'll come across as being a glory seeker.
That is a dilemma. Tell me why it bothers you so much.
It bothers me because as a born-again believer I know I shouldn't be acting this way.
Sounds like you get under conviction about it.
Yes, and I want to get the victory over it.
Well, first let's narrow this down a little. What compels you to worry about how you appear to others?
Well, sometimes I feel inferior and inadequate as a Christian.
I don't know. I guess it's lack of self-esteem.
Okay. Let's see how the Bible can help you with this self-esteem problem.
Is this going to involve trying to build up my self-esteem? I must warn you, I've tried that before.
And it didn't work, right?
Right, it's just no use. I can't build up my self-esteem no matter how much I try.
That's because you have none.
That's right. There is nothing to esteem in yourself.
Wait, that's not nice. I thought you wanted to help me.
Okay. How do you want me to help you?
Well, you can tell me what I'm worthy of.
Okay. You're worthy of death!
You are a sinner. There is nothing good in you. What you really deserve is eternity in Hell, God's
garbage can for defective creations.
The man's eyes started watering. He was almost like a small child that had just been teased to the point
How could you say those things to me?
Because they are the truth. The Bible says so, remember? Read with me what Paul says:
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good
thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that
which is good I find not." Romans 7:18
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are
as filthy rags..." Isaiah 64:6
You see, I wasn't being mean. I just wanted to drive home a Bible truth about what you are in the flesh.
That's why Christ came to die for you - to salvage a spiritually dead creature and turn him into a new
creature in Christ. (Read Ephesians 2:1-7 and II Corinthians 5:17).
Just then it began to click. Yes! the man thought, of course. That's why
he had seen his need for salvation in the first place.
You are right! I am a rotten sinner. There is nothing in me to esteem. There is nothing good in me. I
have no righteousness of my own.
Right! To try and seek self-worth in yourself is hopeless.
Does this mean the solution to my dilemma is hopeless also?
No! Once again the Bible has the answer. When you got saved you became a son of God:
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son
into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more
a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through
Christ." Galatians 4:6-7
Your self-concept and self-image should not be based on what you are in yourself, but on what you in
Christ have become.
You mean I have a new identity?
Exactly, because of Christ you have gone from a sinner worthy of death to a child of the King! Notice:
"Behold, what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us, that
we should be called the sons of God..." I John 3:1
With an identity like that I shouldn't have a self-esteem problem.
Right. Think of it more as a God given esteem. Your self-worth is now found in Christ because you have
been given His righteousness (Romans 3:21-28). Let's read on:
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are
the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him,
that we may be also glorified together." Romans 8:16-17
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who
can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but
delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also
freely give us all things?" Romans 8:31-32
Remember, you are worth a lot to God:
"For ye are bought with a price..." I Corinthians 6:20
So what you are saying is that as a child of God there is no need to prove myself worthy to
Exactly, your new title says it all. You can now relax, and find rest in your God given
identity. Jesus says the truth shall make you free. In this case, you have been made free from
having to prove yourself to others.
Great! How do I apply this truth?
Repent, meditate on what we have talked about and start acting like your father. Practice
godliness, start reaching out to others in love. Behave in accordance to what you have become
in Christ and stop wasting time trying to find a self-esteem that doesn't exist in the first place!
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on
the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and
true holiness." Ephesians 4:23-24
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are
above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set
your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
"That no flesh should glory in his presence." I Corinthians
"That, according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him
glory in the Lord." I Corinthians 1:31
As a new creature in Christ, the
born-again believer should not be
concerned about self-esteem. But
if you find yourself (the old man)
struggling with this just
1. There is nothing to esteem in
yourself. Therefore, don't waste
time trying to find self-esteem.
You will only be trapped in a
hopeless and endless search.
2. Focus instead on your new
identity in Christ. Believe God
when He says you are joint heirs
with Christ in His righteousness.
You are a child of the King!
3. Exercise this new identity
(II Timothy 4:7). You have been
given power to become conformed to
the image of Christ (John 1:12;
Romans 8:29). Start practicing
godliness and rest in your God
given title as a child of the
For more information please contact:
3303 23rd Avenue SouthWest
Fargo, North Dakota 58103
Pastor T. C. Scheving
[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]