Self esteem

Hieromonk Savatie Baştovoi

The most terrible demon, the beginner of the heavenly fight, the first cursed one and thrown away from heaven found a new name for himself: Self Esteem.

Everything is turned upside down in the teaching of this great demon: if Christ teaches us to be humble and meek, he tells us to be proud and cheeky. Christ tells us to love our brother, he tells us to love only ourselves, seeing in the others obstacles in the way of our fulfillment. He doesn`t listen to counsels, he pays no attention to the needs of the others, he is boastful even when he loses and in a word he is the opposite of the love described by Saint Paul the Apostle:

`Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. ` (1 Corinthians, 13).

Everything you will hear from the teachers of self esteem is against love. Love is not a focus on our own person, it is exactly the opposite of the fixation at our own self by its overflow outside, like a spring which increases its waters when it is digged and used permanently while the unused well has its springs obstructed and dries out.

That is why the people who are preocuppied to develop their self esteem become unlikeable, they lose their former friends and they are always in a bustle of new persons he needs to flatter his ego. Their name is called depression and separation.

Instead of this we have been praying for centuries with the words of Saint Ephrem the Syrian : `

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me a spirit of despondency, sloth, love of money, and idle talk. But give to me, your servant, a spirit of sober-mindedness, humility, patience, and love. Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother, since you are blessed to the ages. Amen.

Therefore everytime we feel our self esteem grows, let us humble it by the remembrance of our sins and everytime we have the impression that someone else is guilty for our failures, let us remember that we are no better than him and we did some much worse deeds than him.

Happy New Year, far away from the spirit of self esteem !

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