Benjamin and I are currently reading a Christian book together. We try to meet once a week to talk about the chapter we just read and then pray for each other. I have learned a lot about Ben, myself and God over the last couple of weeks. I’d like to share one thing.
We want victory in our lives, whether it is in a Ping-Pong game or in our struggle with sin. We want to feel good about ourselves, and we know we will not as long as we are allowing some sin to gain mastery over us. To paraphrase a writer from a previous century, so often when we sin we are more vexed at the lowering of our self-esteem than we are grieved at God’s dishonour. We are irritated at our lack of self-control in subjecting ourselves to some unworthy habit. We are unable to stand the disappointment of seeing ourselves fail. God does not honour these self-centered desires.
This is one reason we do not experience more of His enabling power in our day-to-day struggles with so-called besetting sins. God does not give us His power so that we might feel good about ourselves; He gives us His power so that we can obey Him for His sake, for His glory. It is not wrong to feel good about ourselves, but this should be a by-product of obedience motivated by a desire to please God.
Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness
The author seems to be saying that self esteem must come second to God esteem. Do you agree? I look forward to the discussion that I will have with Ben.