It's not just teenagers who struggle with self-worth. Almost every single one of us will feel inadequate or suffer from low self-esteem at some point in our adult lives. Maybe there's a responsibility that you've been given at work that you feel incapable of taking on, despite possessing the necessary skills and experience, or maybe you're insecure about your ability to be a good friend or parent, even though to everyone else you're doing a great job.
Whatever it is, it can play on your mind and cause you to misinterpret your worth. Low self-esteem can also affect you when you overly focus on things you lack. When these thoughts cross your mind it's important to remind yourself that God sees you differently to the way the world does, and to Him you are worth so much that He gave His only Son to save you.
When a friend comes to us seeking reassurance or a self-esteem boost our default reaction to help lift their mood can be to dismiss their concerns and shower them with compliments and praises. We can look for the same from others at times when we're feeling low. Hearing these things might make us feel better in the short term but in reality, these words soon lose their initial power and leave us back where we started. Tempting as it might be to boost our confidence in this way, we shouldn't look for comfort in falsehoods but instead be uplifted by God's power and perfection next to our weakness.
If you're battling with self-confidence, failing to see how the weak are blessed or just want to remind yourself that your weaknesses don't make you worthless, you may find these four prayers inspired by Scripture helpful.
Your grace is sufficient for me, your power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Amen.
- 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Please help me to not think of myself more highly than I ought, but rather think of myself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith that you have distributed to me. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Help me identify my gift, whatever it may be, and use it to your glory. Amen.
- Romans 12:3-10
O Heavenly Father,
You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Amen.
- Psalm 139:13-14
You have commanded me to be strong and courageous. You have told me not to be afraid; not to be discouraged, for you are always with me wherever I go. Remind me of this when I feel disheartened about my ability to complete the tasks that you've set for me and to become the person you want me to be. Amen.
- Joshua 1:9