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“I am so bad at this”. This is the self-talk I heard recently from a young person. These short negative statements peppered the conversation constantly. There was no factual basis for it. They were not bad at all. In fact, they were learning something new, they were constantly improving and by my assessment became quite good. It was not false humility; this pivots around poor self-esteem. Have you noticed how hard it is to change deprecating self-talk? The internal negative talk seems too powerful for external positive affirmations to cut through.

What do you think of this insight, “self-esteem comes from doing esteemable acts”? I have noticed as people serve others, or do the right thing, or treat people properly, they feel better about themselves. With improvement in the young person’s actions, the negative comments began to reduce. Of course, to lift self-esteem it is important to know God’s love and grace for us, to be surrounded by people who love and affirm us. It is also vital we do esteemable acts.

The Christian knows we have not ‘earned’ favour with God, but by God’s grace we are made for esteemable acts:

Eph 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We have the unparalleled dignity of belonging to God and being created for his esteemable acts. Could this cut through the negative self-talk?