Monday, November 28, 2005

Don't Believe In Yourself

It is not uncommon for people to struggle with insecurity and knowing who they are. A popular "cure" to this insecurity is to, "Believe in yourself,"and "Believe that you can do it." But is this advice something Christians should follow?

It is evident that some Christians are following it. A
question was sent to Christian psychologist, Dr. James Dobson, asking, "How can parents prepare their younger children for the assault on self-esteem that is almost certain to come in adolescence? That was a tough time for me, and I want it to be easier for my kids."

Dr. Dobson, a psychologist who is lauded in some circles for his superb "Christian psychological advice" answered with this:
"Well, one important approach is to teach boys and girls valuable skills with which they can compensate in years to come. They can benefit from learning something that will serve as the centerpiece of their self-concept during the difficult years.

This would include learning about basketball, tennis, electronics, art, music, or even raising rabbits for fun and profit. It's not so much what you teach your child. The key is that he or she learns something with which to feel good when the whole world seems to be saying, 'Who are you and what is your significance as a human being?'

The teenager who has no answer to those questions is left unprotected at a very vulnerable time of life. Developing and honing skills with which to compensate may be one of the most valuable contributions parents can make during the elementary school years. It may even be worth requiring your carefree kid to take lessons, practice, compete and learn something he or she will not fully appreciate for a few more years."

By saying that teens should derive their self esteem from their own talents, knowledge, and abilities, Dr. Dobson seems to be echoing the "Believe in yourself" philosophy. But is this thinking biblical or does it come from secular philosophy?

Secular Humanism, according to the Greek philosopher Protagoras, is a belief that basically states that "man is the measure of all things." Man is considered completely autonomous and self sufficient. Reason, truth, and morality are all dependent on what man decides it to be, for he is "the measure of truth." Following that line of thinking, if a man believes that he can accomplish something (i.e. "Believes in himself"), then he can, for man himself decides what is truth. This is directly contrary to the Bible, which not only shows man governed by God, but also reveals man's worthlessness apart from Him.

According to the Bible, who are we?
Abraham revealed the state of all men when he plainly stated, "I am nothing but dust and ashes..." (Gen. 18:27) Likewise, David said, "
Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow." (Psalm 144:4) The Preacher of Ecclesiastes says that man's persuits are futile and without value. "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." (Ecclessiastes 1:14) With these verses in mind, saying that men should search for their value within is merely the indulgence of pride and folly, for, according to the Bible, man's own merit in and of himself equals zero.

Where should our self esteem come from?
Though man is worth nothing by himself, he has become of unmeasurable value because he is unmeasurably precious to God. God loved man, in spite of man's sinfulness. He sent His Son to take the punishment for sin in our stead, so that we might live. (John 3:16, Romans 6:23) When a person can rest secure in God's value of them, they will no longer need a high esteem of their own talents and knowledge.

Belief in one's own abilities should be called by its rightful name: pride. The encouragement of the belief in one's own abilities is the encouragement of pride, which is sin and leads to destruction.

With all of that said, this whole post could be quickly summed up in the following words: Do not believe in yourself. Believe in God.


Posted by Hannah

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Updates...

Hello everyone!

Kristin and I apologize for not updating this blog more often. It was our original plan to write more in depth posts on femininity, but our current schedules do not permit us to do so now. Though we would like to continue this blog, I am afraid that our posts will continue to be few and far between until after the holidays are over. However, we are still determined not to give up this blog! We will still be praying for your requests in the prayer thread, and reading your comments.

Here is the good part: Kristin and I will be accepting freelance posts. If you have a post written on femininity, godly womanhood, or anything related to those subjects, e-mail it to us and we will consider posting it here. Also, any ideas on topics to post about would be most welcome.

Contact us at femininebeauty[at]gmail.com
Please include your first name, your blog address (if you have one) and your email address in your email.

God bless!