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Christian Counseling - Feeling Good About You?

Christians, those who follow Christ, possess the indwelling of the Spirit of God and a sin nature. How can they feel good about who they are? Most seem to experience emotional and conceptual instability in their self-esteem and self-image.

We are frequently reminded of things like: we are "sinners" and "selfish"; "...our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment" (Isaiah 64:6); "There is no one who does good" (Psalm 14:1); "...for I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh" (Romans 7:18); and "...I am a nobody" (II Corinthians 12:11). Yet, we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. How can we love ourselves after thinking about these references? Perhaps we are not meant to feel good about us.

Yet, Christ wants us to have an abundant life while we live on earth, Paul learned to be content, part of the church mission is to edify its members, Jesus gives us His peace, God makes His home in us, He unconditionally loves all of us as we are, and God sees us as "perfect" or complete "in Christ." How can He say and do all that when we still have a sin nature and sometimes follow it?

Christians who tote around these two opposing self-images are like a house divided against itself--it cannot stand. It will cause great and continual conflict--positive and negative self-statements, high and low self-esteem, confidence and self-doubt, self-hate and self-love, depression and anxiety. Which self-image does God want to rule in our lives? We all know the answer, the good one. Or maybe the bad one, which can help us keep a lid on sin and pride.

Does this conflict resonate with you? Can you further define this conflict? What has helped you toward solving this dilemma?

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