Monday, November 14, 2011


So, last week I went out with a girlfriend for coffee – (you know where…there's one on every corner…*$'s. BTW, I'm a Coffee Frappucino Light kind of girl).

We were talking away, about anything and everything. We're good at that. But one of the final things we talked about really hit me hard.

J knows someone who leads personal growth seminars. And they were having a conversation a while ago. This other woman tells J something to the effect, "You know, in all my experience I've found that the women with the lowest self-esteem are Christians."

I looked at my friend.

"You know, that really makes me mad," I said, "and really sad, because I think it's true."

So I've been mulling and pondering this ever since.

I think there are two problems here. First of all, there's the woman part of it.

We women seem to have a problem with always being "too much" – "not enough" – "unworthy of being loved" – "trying to measure up" – you get the idea. It's like there's some sort of personal yardstick – and we always fall short. Kinda like the rides at Disneyland. You know the little painted lines – "You must be this tall to go on this ride." And, no matter how tall we stand, even if it's on our tiptoes – we're still below the line.

Why does this happen?

I can think of several reasons. Our society – ladies, it's still a man's world out there. Our family upbringing – which can give us faulty "tapes". Our past experience with men – don't get me started on this one. I spent way too many years thinking that I was only lovable if some man "loved" me. Our innate nurturing nature – which makes us tend to think more of others than we do ourselves. Our culture – which has bowed down to the idols of youthful appearance, and being rich and/or famous.

You know those television shows - "The Real Housewives..."

Let me tell you, there is nothing "real" about those women.

The really real housewives are women like me – unsure of themselves, insecure, wasting time comparing themselves to others, and always thinking they're falling short of some ideal standard.

The other problem I see is specific to Christian women.

We tend to think of ourselves as unworthy worms. You know the lyrics, "Amazing grace that saved a WRETCH like me." We believe the wretch part. However, the problem, in my opinion, is that we haven't grabbed onto the grace part.

Here's the deal.

There's a big difference between being unworthy, and being worthless.

You see, when we stand before the throne of God, we are indeed unworthy. Our sin makes it so. Unable to ever measure up to the bar, we fall short every time. Our meager and puny efforts to reach God, and to attain His righteousness, will never happen on our own.

It's why the Savior came and died.

But woefully, here's where too many of us get stuck.

"We are unworthy," we cry out.

Of course we are. That's the whole point.

But here's the wonderful, tremendous, awe-inspiring truth.

We are eminently worthwhile!

Have you stopped yourself lately and thought about the Crucifixion? Really, really thought about it? Are we so used to hearing about it that we have forgotten what it meant? Yes, of course, Jesus died for our sins. But why??

He did it because He considered it WORTH THE COST of His very life to redeem worthwhile creatures from their unworthy sinful natures.

Excuse me, but I just don't see the Almighty God of the Universe stooping to earth, giving us His Son to die – for worthless worms.

He loved us – yes, WHILE we were still sinners – and He considered us WORTH rescuing.

I find that exhilarating!

So, I believe we do a disservice to the Lord's sacrifice when we diminish ourselves.

Pride is a subtle enemy. Sometimes it's overt. Sometimes it's undercover. And either end of the spectrum is dangerous territory.

I have this word picture in mind.

Picture yourself in the middle of a raging sea. And you are definitely going to die unless someone rescues you. So, a boat finally arrives. The captain himself dives in to save you. Overt pride says, "No, I'm OK. I know that I can save myself. You go on without me."

Undercover pride does something else.

It lets the captain rescue them – and the captain loses his life in the process. They are pulled into the boat and saved. But then, undercover pride never stops moaning and groaning.

"I don't know why anyone would want to save someone like me. I'm not worth it. He should have just let me die, because I'm no good. Nobody loves me. He really wasted his time rescuing me."

Is this not completely dismissing the sacrifice of the captain??

There's a fine line here. And we Christian women are called to walk it.

Humbly saved from our unworthy sin? Yes. But considered worth the cost to the Lord? Absolutely yes!

We, of all women, should have the highest self-esteem. We should esteem ourselves as much as God does. Knowing full well our unworthiness, we should claim the Love that deemed us worth the rescuing. We can be like Paul – and boast gladly in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ladies, our filthy rags have been exchanged for glorious white Robes of Righteousness.

Why aren't we wearing them??

What is keeping you from looking at yourself the way God sees you?

"…each of us must ultimately open up with vulnerability and humility to acknowledge our unworthiness and yet also to accept our own worth, which is sometimes the more difficult. In confessing our sin before God, we accept our unworthiness--not worthlessness! In that moment of vulnerability we discover that God…through Jesus Christ, graciously covers the sinner with love and forgiveness. We know that although we have been found out, we have also been found. We come to accept that God sent the Son into the world because he deemed us worthy to be loved and forgiven, we who are created in the divine image and destined to become fully restored to it…" (From Bible Gateway)

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

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BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Another great post, Sharon. I too have noticed that many Christian women have low self-esteem. (Hey, I raise my hand as I have often struggled with it.)

    There is a Southern Gospel song titled "I Stand Redeemed." One of the lines is "When He looks at me, He sees the nail scarred hands that bought my liberty."

    We are redeemed! Yes we were unworthy, but God chose us and wants us to be conformed to the image of His son. He sees us not as worthless, but He sees us redeemed!

  2. Amen...I think I realized how much Christian women have trouble with this when reading Beth Moore's So Long opened my eyes to the lies that the enemy continues to put on us women. May we all let the truth you just wrote about sink in deeply and walk it out.

  3. A very meaty post Sharon. Low self-esteem is one of Satan's strategies to keep us in bondage.

  4. POW! Right in the kisser.

    That's exactly how I read this post. I am one who suffers from this kind of pride. I've even read Beth Moore's book that Janette mentioned above, and I still suffer from it.

    I've been thinking a great deal about it lately. I tried to express it in my Sunday post, but I just couldn't get the right words.

    You could.
    So wonderful, as usual. I stand in awe of your gift of exhortation, and I mean that very sincerely. You are priceless.

  5. Gosh, Sharon, this is so true, isn't it? We do think we are unworthy. But in God's eyes, we are the apple of his eye, he takes great delight in us! Yet we "beat" ourselves up over and over again about this or that, etc. We truly are worthy; I say this but I need to get it deeply rooted into my heart/soul/mind. I am a daughter of the Creator of the universe and sister to the Savior of the universe; coheir. It doesn't get any better than that. (I know I've said this here before too many a time). Now getting it into my thick skull!

    Thanks for your thoughts this mornig, something to ponder about!


  6. I have struggled with the demon of low self esteem
    many times in my life. It is a real form of bondage for sure. As the old hymn goes, "I'm so glad Jesus
    set me free! Glory Hallelujah! Jesus set me free!"

  7. It seems to me most people either think too highly of themselves or they have slow self esteem. You certainly make the case for us to thinking of ourselves the way God sees us and that's what is important. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

  8. Sharon - This is so timely for me as I have been in that very storm of feeling worthless due to being judged "not enough" by the world system in which I work at present. After a woman's retreat and some one on one pastor time - I have just this week been able to sort out the truth from the lies - feeling like I have been pulled into the boat. Thank you, Jesus, for making that possible. Holding my head high this week as I cross the threshold of work - and hopeful for greater things ahead! Thanks for your salient points here, my friend!

    Now, as to that quote I posted on my storm post - PINTEREST! You should visit me there - I'm trying to fill my boards with inspiring images and words. Really loving all the creative inspiration and nifty ideas about all things from practical homemaking tips to clever crafts. Easy to sign up and get started - just watch your time - can be a waster if not disciplined . . .


  9. Well I sure do know what your mean. I don't know if I find Christians women with the lowest self esteem though to be honest with you. I have seen some with a high sense of self esteem.

    But I don't think that is really what you meant.

    You are right God died for us and he doesn't make junk.

    This is a test too for what we talked about on commenting. Love you, sandie

  10. Oh...I think self-esteem issues plague many people. But we are children of the king and when when that really sinks in, it can't help but change how we see ourselves.
    Blessings from Behind the Gate

  11. Sharon- so thoughtful and thought out, as usual.
    Touche' on touching on our Christian/Women issues! We've got to live with a heart filled with Christ- not with the "not enoughs" of this world...because we are not of this world, and not meant to be.
    Thank you for reminding us who we are- who's we are!
    Love you!

  12. Sharon, thank you for sharing. Blessings.

  13. Hi Sharon,

    Excellent post, one I can relate to in many places. My thoughts "Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief"

    God Bless and thank you - Nita

  14. It is a fine line, isn't it? Unworthy yet worthwhile. It made me think of the first part of the Revelation song - WORTHY is the Lamb who was slain, Holy, Holy is HE! HE is worthy! He is worthy of our love, our worship, our devotion. He is love and we are the object of His love ~ how amazing is that? For that alone we should hold our heads up high, and bow them low. Unworthy yet worthwhile - it is a fine line.

  15. Beautiful words to remind us ALL of our worth - that which took Jesus to the cross for us. It can be so difficult to understand and accept this when the world tells us so much rubbish. Thank you for helping us to remember how much we are loved by the One that matters :)

  16. Beautiful Sharon!


    never a worm... and since WE ARE THE REDEEMED! We are no longer a 'wretch' like me... WE ARE FORGIVEN!

    When I first read this (many moons ago now since I'm late on the scene again)... I was going to disagree with "Christian women have the lowest self esteem" because I always thought it was just me... and I looked at the Christian women in my life around me and saw God's strength in them... and thought it was just "needy me".

    After reading this again and again, and now the responses, you made some great and valid points... and I'm glad that you arrived at where I see Christian women... in the past and those I have the privilege to know online and OFF...

    "We, of all women, should have the highest self-esteem. We should esteem ourselves as much as God does. Knowing full well our unworthiness, we should claim the Love that deemed us worth the rescuing. We can be like Paul – and boast gladly in the Lord Jesus Christ."

    ... CLOTHED in the beauty of HIS RIGHTEOUS ROBES!

    Ahhhh, worthy are we as women of God and sisters in Christ! Love and honored to be,
    A beautiful daughter of the King,
    (but still very needy, surrendered to Jesus)

  17. Sharon,

    I'd like to add another part of that faulty thinking. Not all Christian women think of themselves as worms. But those of us who continually fail to measure up to the yardstick in our lives, we think of ourselves as worms and other Christian women far above us. You know, the ones who seem to have it all together, lead the ministries while raising wonderful godly kids, have the wisdom. We measure ourselves against them.
    Anyway you look at it, it is pride. It is comparing ourselves which we are warned against by Paul. And it is turning a deaf ear to who God says we are and accepting the unique role He has for us in His body.
    I know. I am sooo guilty of this.

    Thank you for this precious reminder.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)