A healthy self-concept: It’s a big deal to those who work in the behavioral sciences. But it’s equally important in education, business, and a host of other areas as well! It can be the difference between success and failure! The broader culture has a diversity of opinions of what a healthy self-concept looks like. Sometimes those who espouse what is “healthy” value what is pretty assertive – even arrogant and abrasive at times. It’s linked to appearance, image-making, fashion, education, learned skills, and other self-improvement techniques… Some aspects of that are good, some rather artificial, others can even a bit offensive to those around them.
I happen to be one of those who believes the Bible provides the best answer to self-concept! A biblical expose of what constitutes a healthy self-concept is beyond today’s post in “coffee with the Lord” and probably is the worthy subject of an extended sermon series – even a biblically based book. This morning, however, in my Bible reading I reflected on an important passage in the Bible that gives some wonderful insights on the subject… Romans 12:3-9.
Here are a few of my reflections from that passage regarding what constitutes a healthy self-concept by biblical standards…
- A healthy self-concept is not characterized by arrogance.
- Neither is it inappropriately low and self-deprecating.
- It is an accurate estimate of oneself in relationship to a loving God and others.
- A healthy self-concept is informed by faith – believing what one can become with God’s help and provision.
- It expresses a proper recognition of it’s role in relationship to others around them.
- And finally, it is determined to use its God-given gifts for the common good!
The passage? Check it out for yourself… Here it is: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.“ (Romans 12:3–8 ESV)
Gotta tell you, as a Christian I want my self-concept to be expressive of those foundational values, don’t you?