Christianity · Hope · theology

The Difference; Self Esteem and Confidence…

     This is a topic most people just give a wave of the hand to, as if they mean the same thing. They in fact don’t, and I’d like to take a few minutes, if you’ll just read, and hear me out.

     “Esteem” is a subjective category. It is something that fluctuates from person to person situation to situation, it is not necessarily a static (unchanging) concept. It is a word to describe how a person feels towards any other particular thing. The other thing could be a company, clothing, food, another person or even themselves.

respect and admiration, typically for a person.
“he was held in high esteem by colleagues”
synonyms: respect, admiration, acclaim, approbation, appreciation, favor, recognition, honor, reverence; More

respect and admire.
“many of these qualities are esteemed by managers”
synonyms: respect, admire, value, regard, acclaim, appreciate, like, prize, treasure, favor, revere

“such ceramics are highly esteemed”
    consider; deem.
    “I should esteem it a favor if you could speak to them”
     When directed towards one’s self it is self-esteem. In other words, what do you think of yourself? How highly do you regard yourself, the main question that would come up here is what exactly about yourself do you esteem? That would be more where confidence comes into play…
     “Confidence” is still in the subjective realm, it can ebb and flow. It is more about trust; how much do you believe something or someone will accomplish or satisfy such and such a task or perform an ability satisfactorily. To the varying degree you trust success from said person or thing, that is confidence.
  1. the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
    “we had every confidence in the staff”
    synonyms: trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction

    “I have little confidence in these figures”
    antonyms: skepticism, distrust
    • the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
      “it is not possible to say with confidence how much of the increase in sea levels is due to melting glaciers”
    • a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
      “she’s brimming with confidence”
    • the telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust.
      “someone with whom you may raise your suspicions in confidence
    • a secret or private matter told to someone under a condition of trust.
      plural noun: confidences
      “the girls exchanged confidences about their parents”

The direction of confidence would be the same as esteem. One may have it in the “self” direction or given outwardly. Either of these can be a blessing, but what is worse they can be a curse or even sinful.

Why do I even bring this up? Why broach this topic?
I have one of these and not the other, or at least one of these is quite low and the other strong. I have little self esteem and strong confidence. I know in the secular realm often it is encouraged to have high volumes of both of these, in the Christian sphere it is quite the opposite.
     It isn’t the opposite in the Christian sphere because self esteem and confidence are inherently bad, they are not, it is where the origination of said emotions come from that bring them a positive religious motivation.
     If they come from one’s self, it is sinful and incorrect. This is because of objective categories about the human condition that can’t be changed in anyway by what we human beings do to ourselves; wether it be done physically or psychologically.
“For there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Rom 3:22b–23 (NET)
     There is no doubt a specific context for this citation, but the ramifications stream all the way towards the psyche itself. In Greek, the word for soul means the whole of who a person is, that word is ψυχή transliterated it would be psyche. In what is called semantic domain (the way in which words may be used; what gives them meaning) the domain of this word is vast. To boil it down to its core, which is for us simpler folk, is exactly what I said before,
The soul of a person is who they are in their entirety, body, mind, and spirit.
     A Christian can have both of these things in full. How?
Confidence is an easy one. The creator of the universe has so orchestrated existence so as to,
“know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” Rom 8:28 (NET)
     How sure can this be? Romans 5:5 and 10:11 say that hope and faith (confidence) that rests in God is unable to disappoint. Biblical hope is a category related exactly with faith and certainty. It is the object hoped, believed, trusted, confided in. Since God can “swear by nothing greater than himself,” he must testify to his own truthfulness. It is the ultimate test of our loyalty and fidelity to him.
     Self esteem is much the same, but for me it is trickier to overcome. The scriptures testify that our value is only so far as we bare the image of God. Being an image barer never leaves, so inherent value exists within each person.
     While this is true, our understanding of our worth, marred by sin, effects our self judgement. In my case I have to constantly look at the reality of my being united and identified with Christ.

“Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained. Be imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and watch carefully those who are living this way, just as you have us as an example.” Phil 3:16–17 (NET)

This doesn’t sound like a man who think lowly of himself. The question is why?

“let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works,” Heb  10:24 (NET) and “we are his creative work, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we can do them.” Eph 2:10 (NET)

It’s a mental stance that has to be constantly reminded to each Christian. It is what I have to do to myself. I have worth and value because of who possesses me, because of who purchased my life so that I (and we Christians) might live for him and his glory.

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31 (NET)

“For every one of God’s promises are “Yes” in him; therefore also through him the “Amen” is spoken, to the glory we give to God. But it is God who establishes us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.” 2 Cor 1:2022 (NET)

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