Watching friends struggle to enter into meaningful relationships and having trolls spew words of hatred and younger women placing values on empty actions, I have had enough.

The very first truth  this week I want to share is that you must value yourself. Low self-esteem has become the number-one issue plaguing  women and men.

The reality is, in hundreds of subtle ways, our culture, family, friends—even our thought life—conspire to undermine our confidence. We grow up in families void of affirmation, encouragement, and respect—the building blocks to self-confidence. Then we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a world that lionizes Size Two Hollywood starlets and Barbie-doll figures. Our paycheck, our title, our designer labels, or some other artificial yardstick gives us temporary entree into the world of The Accepted. But in our hearts, we know it isn’t real.

We have a perfect example of that in the White House. The man demands a ‘certain look’ ad constantly comments on how ‘beautiful’ or ‘ good looking’  someone is.

Please understand that you are worth more than the way you look. You are worth more than the likes you get.

I once knew a woman who believed the lie that she was a victim. She wasn’t in an abusive situation; she wasn’t poor or ill or alone. But she felt as though the world always let her down. She was looking for something  more. She was looking at the world with the sense that she was not at some imaginary level of normal.  I often wanted to scream that what she wanted was not attainable or realistic.

Accept a compliment. Man, this is one I struggle with.  Accept the admiration from someone else and take pride in that.  It could be your outfit, your home , your voice. These are gifts. Take nothing for granted.

Depending on where you feel your inadequacies lie, they are all false idols.

These idols may be beauty, money, fame, intelligence, and any number of things we feel we lack but others have, and which the world says we need. You are incomplete as you are now, and you need something further to make you into what you are supposed to be. The kids all want to be ‘Facebook Famous’.

Take a moment and really think about what you are doing when you place people’s opinions about you higher than God’s opinion of you? Think about what you are doing when you are copying behavior that you see outside yourself that never amounts to anything.

People are imperfect, subjective, and their opinions can change over time. I’ve had people in my life who I thought loved me and ended up leaving me without even saying goodbye, I’ve been backstabbed by friends, and I’ve been hurt by people in the Church. In retrospect, it sounds relatively simple to say, “Well, just because someone’s opinion changes about me doesn’t mean I will take it personally or change how I view myself.”

Yet, that’s exactly what we do. It’s in our nature to value relationships which ultimately leads us to valuing what people think about us.

However, its important to keep separate and realize that while its important to value people’s opinions, wisdom, and beliefs about us, it will never change how God sees us and our actual value which is rooted in Christ.

James 1:17 – You are a good and perfect gift

That is your worth. If you are  the gift that demands a certain amount of care.  It has nothing to do with the package you came in.

You are worth more than someone who waits by a phone. You are worth more than  five million failed diets every two weeks. You are worth more than someone who becomes the baby mama. You are worth more.

If you continue to believe the lies that your hurtful experiences may have caused you to believe, you will never fully accept yourself and love yourself for who you are.

Please know that you are worth more.

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