Two Questions on Self Esteem

Regarding some of the comments below, two questions come to mind. Both these questions have the same root cause, but come from different emotional states and so don’t often come up together..

The first question asked is this; “what special part of me is it that makes God loves me?” We desperately want God to love us because we’re great, and wonderful, and we’ve done all this smart stuff. So it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth for our pride when the Bible tells us that He loves us because He’s God and He’s called us because He’s God. This seems to be the gist of Romans 9:14-15 “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (ESV)

The second question asked is “but I’m so awful, how could God love me?” We wonder how God could love someone as bad and as terrible as us, and clearly he couldn’t so therefore he mustn’t. But again, the point is not that he loves you for what you do, not because of human will or exertion, but because He is God.

In short, the answer to both of these questions is the Gospel. God loved you and while you were still a wicked unregenerate depraved sinner Christ died for you and so brought you into a relationship with him that is spotless and clean and where He sees you as His beloved child. To doubt this, is to doubt the power and necessity of the Gospel. God had to send His son to die for you or you’d go to hell. His Son’s death was so effective that you are completely free from all sin and God cannot judge you as wicked. And so if you were to say after all that “oh but God can’t use me” then you’d be wrong. His son died for you, you’re made clean and He can use you as mightily as anyone else.[1]

We want to think “God has loved me because I’m special” but the old kids song has it right; “I’m special because God has loved me and He sent his own Son to die to save me”.

1 This seems to be what is going on when Saul hides among some bags to avoid being made King, He thinks he is so rubbish that God can’t use Him, but underlying that is His lack of faith in God. David seems to be if anything less qualified than Saul, but trusts God and so just gets on with the job.