Self-Esteem . . . Or Self-Worship?

It sounds so positive and affirming. After all, everyone deserves to have a ton of self-esteem, right? With all the bullying and other belittling behavior which takes place these days, doesn't it just make sense that we should want all people to hold themselves in high esteem?

Yes and no. While it is true that we don't want people to live in self-hatred, it is also true that "self" tends to be awfully narcissistic. This tendency gets demonstrated every time you flatter yourself, or disparage yourself. Either way, "self" will sure soak up all the attention you are willing to give it. And that's where the rub comes in.
As long as I am focused on myself, I am not focused on Jesus. And why is that such a big deal you may ask? Because only Jesus can bring us to the Father, and only Jesus can give us true peace and contentment. An obsession with self, be it critical or complimentary, only leads to more pride and a consuming focus on "me."