One of the most valuable tools I use when talking to people who have problems with self-image or self-esteem is this “formula” to begin a big picture discussion.
First is what should be an easy question: Is God good or bad?
Then fill in this blank: Man is created in the image of ________. The answer that I expect in a Judeo-Christian society is “God.”
Finally, then the conclusion can be drawn that at least in some ways “Man is good.” If you don’t buy into this notion, then there’s a whole lot of things we need to address first. But if you DO agree with the logic in this “formula” then we now have a starting spot to talk about why its OK to feel good about yourself.
The Bible says to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I contend that you cannot do this effectively if you do not have love for yourself. This does not mean that you put your own needs ahead of others all the time (though I would argue that it is absolutely OK to take care of yourself first before you take care of others. Like on an airplane when the gas masks drop, you are much more capable of helping another person if you’re already safe.)
If nothing else, I hope we can all agree that self-esteem is important to build in people. Without it, we are at risk for depression, anxiety, and making very harmful choices. Do your friends and family a favor and tell them something you like about them today!