How to Improve Your Self-Worth

What does God's Word say about our self-confidence? A lot more than you might think.

“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Ever struggle with low self-esteem? If so, you are not alone. Most people struggle at some point in their lives with negative feelings about their worth, especially when under pressure in their daily lives. People often cite a myriad of reasons for their low self-esteem, including physical or financial limitations, a less than perfect appearance, lack of education, talent or abilities, rejection by others, or a failure to live up to personal or professional standards. And people who struggle with feelings of low self-esteem are often able to find “evidence” that they are correct in their negative self-appraisals as society and the media are quick to tell us that our primary worth and value are directly correlated to material success, ability, beauty, athleticism, education, power, romantic love, and the opinion of others. However, when we place our trust in these things as our source of worth and security, we can quickly find ourselves in trouble. All of these external dependencies are subject to change at any moment and do not wholly sustain feelings of worth over time. When we rely on anything other than the God of the universe, within us, as our source of worth and security, these potentially good things become idols in our lives and can wreak havoc in our emotions. Here are some ways to restore a Christian sense of self-worth in your life.

  1. Identity negative thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. Ask God to reveal false appraisals that have taken root.
  2. Find out what God says and thinks about you and your worth in His Word and meditate on His words until your thoughts begin to align with His (i.e. Psalm 139:13–15; Ephesians 1:5–6; John 3:12; Zephaniah 3:17; John 3:16; Psalm 100:3; 1 Peter 3:4; Isaiah 43:4; Isaiah 62:3; Isaiah 49:15–16; Genesis 1:27; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 2:9; Romans 8:31–39; Psalm 8:3–5; Galatians 4:7).
  3. Identify your outward dependencies. Do you look to your bank account, your success, your appearance, competencies, or approval from others for security? Challenge these dependencies.

Ask God to let you know when you start leaning towards these things as your source of security and refocus on Him.

Fight the good fight daily. The world is going to tell you every day where to place your security other than in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Trust in God and enjoy being His child, knowing that your security, significance, worth, and value are in Him.

Dr. Cassie Reid
Dr. Cassie Reid
Dr. Cassie Reid is associate professor of counseling and director of the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program at The King's University in Southlake, Texas.