Many of God’s people have either a poor self-image, or proud self-confidence. At the same time, we often use a wrong standard when evaluating others. Our goal in this discussion is 1) to promote proper self-image and godly confidence by learning to see ourselves as God sees us, and 2) to promote a godly way of viewing spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Our Lord’s Supper form tells us to abhor and humble ourselves. What are we to hate, and what are we to love, about ourselves? (Ephesians 4:22-24)
- Are we to hate anything about ourselves besides our sins? (Psalm 139:14)
- Compare/contrast what God values about his children vs. what man’s fallen human nature values. (Proverbs 31:30, 1 Samuel 2:30b, Jeremiah 9:23-24)
- How does evaluating ourselves according to the world’s standards lead either to pride or a poor self-image?
- How does focusing on our sins, rather than God’s grace, affect our view of ourselves? How does believing that God has forgiven us lead to proper self-love?
- How might our self-image be affected if our goals for ourselves do not correspond to God’s will for us? (Consider both the over-achiever and the under-achiever).
- If others devalue us by their speech or actions, what sort of response will please God, promote a proper self-image, and seek the good of the one who devalues us? (Matthew 5:44, 1 John 4:15, Ecclesiastes 7:21-22, Matthew 18:15)
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:9-11, and answer the following:
- Does Paul exaggerate or underestimate his sinfulness?
- Does he have a right view of his accomplishments?
- Does he boast or take credit for what he has done?
- What was his goal?
- No two people are alike. Are the “more gifted” members more valuable than the “less gifted” members, in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 12:15-24).
- Why does it sometimes happen in the church that some are esteemed more highly than others? What must we do to guard against this? (1 Samuel 16:6-7, James 2:1-4)
- How does focusing on the sins of others, rather than God’s grace, affect our view of them? How does believing that God has forgiven them, lead us to love them? (Ephesians 4:32)
- We are to esteem others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4, 2 Corinthians 10:12, 1Corinthians 12:22-23). What does this mean, and how must we implement it?
- Should we encourage people by using phrases like “I believe in you” or “Have faith in yourself”? Why or why not?
- What goals should we encourage others to have? (1 Corinthians 14:14, Hebrews 10:24)
- How else must we show our love for, and esteem of, all the members of Christ’s body?