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The regard with which we view ourselves is called our self-esteem. It is our mental self-perception. We develop this perception throughout our lives as it springs from our nature, is cultivated by our nurture, and fleshed out and expressed in our experiences. Self-esteem is tied to our sense of belonging, our sense of worth, and sense of accomplishment.
Our problem is that sin affects every part of our being including our mental perceptions. The result is a distorted, false view of ourselves, others, and God. And since self-esteem often drives our behaviour, a distorted viewpoint will lead to sinful actions.
God's answer to our problem is to provide His Word for truth and knowledge about Himself and His actions toward us. His Word also provides us with truth and knowledge about who we are. Our new self-perception begins with a new birth into a new family. We are a new creation in Christ with a new identity. We are given a new mind—the mind of Christ—so we can see God as He is and see ourselves in proper relation to Him. At the heart of a proper self-esteem is a proper recognition of this new position in Christ. The Spirit of God in us teaches us the truth of who we are in Christ as we grow in the knowledge of God's Word. In learning these truths we can then go on to behave in a way consistent with who we are.
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