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  • Shawn Thornton

Less than the Least


Friday - February 18th

Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 3:1-13

 

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ. Ephesians 3:8


Having a healthy self-esteem has become a high priority in our modern world. "Loving yourself first" and "living your truth" are some of the declarations celebrated in our current culture. I get why these statements have become so important. Far too many have suffered from soul-crushing negative self-assessments. Far too many have gone to such extreme despair that they have thought about, threatened to, or have actually taken their own lives.


As Christians, we should be first in line when speaking life into those who struggle with self-doubt and despair. We can be there to remind them that God made them in His own image and that He loves them so much that He sent Jesus to provide a relationship with them. God's Word says that no one lacks value or purpose. Everyone has value.


The danger of an extreme approach to self-esteem and self-worth is that it creates a false sense of self. Conversely, low self-esteem and self-worth foster a false sense of worthlessness. When we understand our sinfulness and turn to Christ as our Savior, we can be honest about our lives before Christ and embrace who we are in Him. Only in Christ can we have an accurate, healthy sense of self.


The Apostle Paul expressed this to the Ephesian church in His letter to them. He understood the sinfulness of his past. But, he also understood the incredible beauty and blessing he has in sharing the Good News of Christ with others. "Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8).


Paul knew how sinful he was before he came to Christ. He understood that even his self-righteousness was rooted in self. He called himself "less than the least of all the Lord's people." A healthy sense of self begins with a healthy understanding of who you are before God. We all fall short of Who God is. We need to understand that. In Paul's case, he believed his sinfulness was beyond that of others. He needed Jesus, and he needed Jesus badly!


Paul speaks of the great joy and value he experienced since he was a communicator of the Good News found in Jesus. While he faced the reality of the sin in his past, the Apostle Paul also faced the incredible privilege God gave him to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. As a result, he had a healthy, balanced sense of self in Christ - rooted in his salvation in the Lord Jesus.


No matter how broken and sinful we understand our past to be, we can have a healthy sense of self in Christ!

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