“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
In our efforts to achieve high esteem, many of us try to wear the right clothes, drive the right cars, or have the right cell phones. We figure if we have all of the "right" stuff, we will finally feel good about ourselves. We think our teammates will begin to think we are cool.
The problem with having the right material items is that, in a month, week or even a day’s time, those will no longer be considered cool. That self-image we thought we could purchase will suddenly be gone.
Or, consider this. Have you ever worried about saying the right things at the right times, or gotten caught up in worrying about acting the right way? At some point, we have to come to the realization that we can't please everyone. No matter how hard we try, there will always be someone (parent, teammate, or coach) who doesn't approve of what we are doing. There will always be times when we do or say something that we shouldn't. Because we are imperfect, our constant striving for perfection will eventually wear us out.
Perfectionism often leads to negative thoughts. We continually remind ourselves of all the things we have done wrong and all the people we have hurt. We think about all of the times we messed up at practice, or worse, the times we messed up during a big game or competition. Things get even worse when we start telling ourselves how much we have let God down. We think about all the times when we deliberately disobeyed God and gave into temptations. This mindset can leave us broken, lost and alone.
But it doesn't have to be that way! Jesus Christ came to earth not only to save us from our sins, but also to save us from those negative thoughts. And it is those thoughts that lead to our low self-esteem. Can't you see how this is the work of Satan? Slowly but surely, he is wearing you down until you crack.
If you need to get out of the habit of thinking negatively, you must first resist the devil so that he will flee from you (James 4:7). Then, you need to meditate on the things God says about you. These are the truths about your life. Look up the additional Bible verses at the bottom of this devotion. Take a moment to read over them and allow yourself time to reflect and meditate on each one. If you will meditate on these verses throughout the day, the Holy Spirit will give you the strength to stay positive in school, at home, at work or at practice. You will most likely still have problems throughout the day, but the Word of God will help you to drive out those negative thoughts and embrace your God-given, Christ-centered, healthy self-esteem.
1. What negative thoughts are plaguing you? How are they separating you from God and His Truth?
2. Are your negative thoughts preventing others around you from growing spiritually?
3. Are the negative thoughts of your teammates or coaches keeping you from God's best? How can you encourage them to be positive?
1 Corinthians 6:19; 10:13
2 Corinthians 4:17
2 Timothy 1:7