Here’s a REAL self-esteem boost.
Here’s a REAL self-esteem boost.
There’s nothing like teenagers to kill your self-esteem.
I used to wrestle with my boys all the time. Not any more. I tried rolling with one of my teenage sons and tapped out in 30 seconds.”My back! My back!” He could only say, “Dad, you’re weak.”
Later my daughter asked, “Dad, can you help me with my math homework?” I was enthusiastic. “Absolutely!” Then I looked at her homework. A jumble of X’s and Y’s and Z’s and graphs and charts. I hesitated for a second, “I’m going to need to Google a few things here.” She ripped the paper out my hand and fumed, “Never mind. I’ll just FaceTime my friend. You’re weak, dad!”
Then I saw my other son sitting on the sofa. “Hey, it’s your week to unload the dishwasher,” I said. “No problem, dad!” An hour later he was still sitting there. I helpfully reminded him, “Dishwasher?” “I will, dad!” An hour later he still hadn’t moved. “Dishwasher, right now!” “I’m going right now!” An hour later the dishes were still in the same place. I really needed a coffee mug, so I just sighed and said, “Fine, I’ll empty the dishwasher myself.” And you know he was sitting there on the sofa, smiling to himself, saying, “Weak.”
Teenagers are experts at killing your self-esteem. And that’s why the story of Daniel is so encouraging to me. Three times in chapter 9 and 10, God comes to Daniel and says, “You’re a man treasured by God.” Whenever the Bible repeats something, our antennae should go up.
Why does God have to keep telling Daniel that he’s treasured? It must be because Daniel doesn’t feel like he’s treasured. He feels insignificant. Unvalued. Unloved.
And often, we feel the same way. We’re not sure how much people actually love us. Do they even like me? We’re not sure how much of a difference we’re really making. We want our lives to matter!
In Philippians 2, Paul says that we do things out of ”selfish ambition and vain glory.” We’re all looking for glory. The Greek word for “glory” has the idea of weightiness. I want my life to be weighty. I want to be significant. I want … to matter! Because then people will treasure me.
Daniel struggled with the same things. He worked and prayed for 70 years to see the Israelites return from exile in Babylon to their home in Jerusalem. Then when it finally happened, they met serious opposition. The whole dream was about to die. At that point Daniel had to be thinking to himself, “Maybe it was all just a pipe dream. A fantasy. Getting our people back to Jerusalem and rebuilding the temple? It seems like that soap bubble is about to burst. And then what are people going to think about me? Then what will my life count for?”
Daniel was tempted to feel insignificant. Unvalued. Unloved. And that’s the moment when God came to him and said, “No, Daniel. You are a man treasured by God.”
And here’s the important thing. He didn’t connect it to anything Daniel had done. It wasn’t, “You’re treasured because you’re so faithful. You’re treasured because you’re so holy.” No. “Daniel, you’re treasured … because you’re treasured.”
This is a message that so many Christians need to hear. The biggest problem many believers have is remembering how much God loves them. Many Christians think God is disappointed with them. They think he’s just putting up with them.
But if you’ve put your trust in Christ, then you’re one of his kids and he treasures you just like I treasure each one of my kids. They’re teenagers, so they’re not as cute and cuddly as they used to be. But I treasure the conversations we can have now about deep, meaningful, spiritual things. I treasure the fun we have watching movies, sports, and sharing memes. I treasure the memories we build going on outings and vacations together.
I treasure my kids, and I’m a sinful, selfish, self-centered man. How much more does our perfect, holy, loving God treasure you?