"I Battle Terrible Self-Esteem"

Dear Sue,

I am not physically handicapped, but what about spiritual or mental handicaps? I not saying I am stupid or slow but things happened to me as a child that have haunted me all my life. I have a very low self-esteem and I don't feel like I am worth anything to any body. I feel more like a hindrance then a help. I am a Christian and I am spiriting, but strongholds from the past keep me in bondage. I have served the Lord most of my life and in many areas my life has changed, but in this area of low self-esteem, I have prayed about it for so long without results, that I have almost decided to learn to live with it. If our God can heal the physical can he not heal the mental? Sometimes I get physically sick over this thing. As they say I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. This thing is so deep that I don't know what to do about it anymore. It is destroying my marriage and hurting my kids. It is a constant battle.

My mother died when I was about two-and-a-half and my father married again when I was five. I then had new brothers and sisters and the home life was not exactly Shangri-la. I ran away when I was fifteen and have never really looked back. I understand why I feel rejected but what I can't understand is why I can't get rid of it. I found the Lord when I was seventeen and it has been the best thing ever. I brought my husband to the Lord when we were dating and both my girls are born-again and serve the Lord. But why after all these years does this one thing still plague me? I have rebuked it until I wore my rebuker out. And still this thing is there. Sometimes it fades into the background but it is always there hovering over me. I am sad to see my family suffer because of my suffering. They do not complain but it makes me sad not able to fix this problem for their sakes. I don't know if you can help, but please pray that God will bring along the right person who can help me.

 
 

Dear ______,

Thank you for sharing your heart with me. I am so very, very sorry to hear of the heavy burden you have been carrying all this time. You must be exhausted!!

I can understand why rebuking this thing isn't working; it can't be overcome by rebuking anything. From what I understand of your life and your situation, you have been wounded by not just life but also by the lies of the evil one who wants to keep you in bondage to false beliefs. Since you are a believer, you need to know who you are in Christ so you can replace the false beliefs with what is true.

For instance, you've been carrying the baggage of feeling rejected, but you won't be able to let go of it until you embrace the truth that you are "accepted in the Beloved," as Ephesians 1 says. And if God accepts you, you can choose to see yourself as acceptable. . . and you can choose to accept yourself. Listen--it's only been two years since I made a conscious choice to realize that God MADE me to be a self-accepting person, so I can accept myself!

The best resource I know of to help you grow in your identity in Christ is Neil Anderson's book Victory Over the Darkness. There is a companion book, The Bondage Breaker, that ought to be read second. They are life-changing. Another couple of excellent books that would help are both by Kay Arthur: Lord, Heal My Hurts and Lord, Is It Warfare? I promise you, ______, Satan doesn't want you to know and fully grasp the truth that you are a princess, a greatly beloved child of the King and the Bride of Christ. . . infinitely significant and valuable simply because God made you no matter WHAT happened after that! But Neil's and Kay's books are really good for helping people move out of the darkness of the enemy's lies and into the light of the truth.

I hope this helps.

In His grip,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries

 
 
Sue,

I read your response to the lady who wrote you about having poor self esteem. She had been struggling with it since her teenaged years. You referred her to several books. I wanted to write and give you the name of an excellent resource: Search For Significance by Robert S. McGee. My copy was published by Lifeway Press, Nashville, TN. I have a large, paperback workbook. He has written a more complete text, I believe, with the workbook built into it. That book changed my whole perspective on who I am in the eyes of Christ. Within the text is a statement of "My Identity In Christ." I have a copy of it on the wall in my bathroom and I see and read it each morning while shaving. It reads as follows:

"Because of Christ's redemption, I am a new creation of infinite worth. I am deeply loved, I am completely forgiven, I am fully pleasing, I am totally accepted by God. I am absolutely complete in Christ. When my performance reflects my new identity in Christ, that reflection is dynamically unique. There has never been another person like me in the history of mankind, nor will there ever be. God has made me an original, one of a kind, really something."

Although Satan throws land mines in my path from time to time, I fall back on the knowledge expressed by McGee's statement. The greatest moment in my entire life was the day I took to heart the knowledge that I have been adopted by God Himself and given a place at His banquet table. This poor little broken, sinful, wretched man, who doesn't even have the power to make himself breathe on a timely basis, has been given the most incredible gift he could ever imagine--life with the Creator of the all things, not as a slave, but as a son. If my 58-year-old body could do cartwheels in the street in front of my house, I would be doing them in celebration of my sonship with the Father. As it is, I am joyfully walking in faith, sharing the good news with whomever will listen.

 
 
Whoa.

That is good stuff. Thank you so much!!!

Sue