(Harvest House, 1995), p. 38
Do Self-Esteem Programs Work and Is Self-Esteem a Biblical Principle?
The entire infrastructure of modern psychological self-esteem teaching is based on a faulty premise—namely, the inherent goodness and perfectibility of human nature in light of humanistic premises. Thus self-esteem teachings are destined to fail not only because they do not address the true problem, but because they offer the wrong solution as well. Self-esteem counseling, like modern psychology; makes us self-centered. As Dr. Kilpatrick says, “I know in my own case that the most shameful incidents of my life—things I now wince to think about—were the products of a happy self-acceptance, the period during which I was most smitten with self-esteem, ‘innocently’ following what I had convinced myself were good or at least neutral impulses. My self-esteem simply wouldn’t allow any honest self-awareness: that only came much later.”*
Our worth is not determined by us; it is determined by God and what He has done for us. Nowhere in Scripture are we told to have self-esteem, self-confidence, and faith in ourselves—only to have esteem, confidence, and faith in God. To be objective, what is there within us to have great faith and trust in? (See Matthew 15:19.) The biblical God alone is trustworthy.
When our self-worth is derived from God’s love for us as expressed at the cross, it is solid and secure; when it is derived internally from the corruption of the human heart, it can only fail.
*For full documentation please see The Facts on Self-Esteem, Psychology and the Recovery Movement.