Let me try to summarize self-esteem according to the “experts:” A person with good self-esteem is one who feels that he is good, worthy, and capable simply by virtue of the fact that he is a human being.
This does not mean that Christians should have low self-esteem. We have Christ-esteem! It only means that our sense of being a good person should not depend on appearance or accomplishments, but on my relationship to Christ! “God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT). My self esteem comes from what we are in Christ, and what we have in Christ.
As a believer, I know that I have been chosen by God and God has loved me from eternity past. “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT). Therefore, I am important to God.
As a believer, I know that “I have been redeemed, not with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, God's own Son” (1 Peter 1:19,20). Therefore I am precious to Jesus.
As a believer, I know that I am regenerated and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:9). I am, therefore, a new creature in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17). I possess the life of the risen Lord Himself. My body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). The image of God has been restored in me. Nothing less than this belongs to a proper Christian self-image.
As a believer, I am justified by faith and, therefore, am accepted of God. I am not guilty; and I am not worthy of hell or of any condemnation. (Galatians 2; John 5:24).
As a believer, I have been adopted by God (Romans 8:15) and, therefore I am a son of the God of heaven and earth and am heir of all things. (Romans 8:17). I am not a child of the devil. (1 John 3:10).
As a believer, I am (body included) destined for glory (John 17:22; Colossians 1:27). A proper self-esteem extends to the body of a Christian as well as the soul. (Romans 8:23).
This proper Christian self-esteem is Christ esteem and it makes the self-esteem of the experts ridiculous by comparison. I reject their definition of self-esteem because it does not exalt me nearly highly enough. I am so much more “in Christ” than I was without Him. This self-esteem is not pride, but humble, thankful acceptance of the goodness of God. This self-esteem is not natural, but that which is ours in Christ. This self-esteem is rooted in Christ's victory over sin and in Christ's covering of sin for me