Many people have the habit of looking at others and defining them by the negative circumstances of their life.  It could be a past failure,  a current failure or even a failure that’s recurrent, and the great consensus of too many would be to label that person by their failure.  That’s the easy thing to do.  It hardly takes any time at all and can be a great way to screen out the riffraff.  Right?  Too many people I come into contact with seem to think so.  I can hear it in their tones, their words and their often hasty and thoughtless vocal judgments.  When challenged on this, I’ve often heard, “Well it’s been my experience….”

The truth of the matter is, a person’s worth cannot be calculated through the sum total of their failures.   However, changing other’s minds regarding this issue can often seem like a losing battle.  Of course, our main focus should always be our own mindsets and not everyone else’s. How do we look at others?   Perhaps of even more importance is the question, ” How  do we view and define ourselves?” 

Oftentimes, we let others’ images of us paint the picture of how we see ourselves.  This is a huge problem.  People’s views and opinions can be so fickle.  What will you do when others’ views of you turn sour?  It’s bound to happen.  Will your self-esteem and sense of security fly out the window because of a quickly changed opinion? It’s certain you will suffer if your self image is caught up in what other people think of you and how they view you and your choices.  As I mentioned before, others will often focus on your failures without looking any deeper.  They will speedily sum up the total of your worth without ever realizing there was so much more to you. 

I believe one of the keys to keeping a healthy self-image is to never let your failures define you.  Of course, we should always attempt to learn from and correct our mistakes, but to constantly dwell on the pain of that event or  failure is the ultimate mistake.  You’ll have to forgive yourself (and others if necessary) and move on.  Don’t keep yourself locked in the pain of failure and regret.  God has great plans for you and you could possibly be missing out on some wonderful opportunities that He’s set before you simply because of your own bitterness and self-pity. 

Perhaps you’re even missing out on some of His opportunities because deep down inside you don’t believe you’re good enough.  Maybe something you did or something that happened to you years ago has shaped your concept of what you can expect out of life and what you can believe of God. 

Perhaps you feel as if you can’t trust anyone because if they knew about all of the skeletons in your closet they would surely hurt you, use you, or reject you. 

Perhaps you are afraid they would laugh at you, or simply look at you with contempt. I suppose fear is the root of it all. We must remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.  We were created in the likeness and image of God.  No one, especially a born-again believer, should look at themselves as being “less than”.  We are the children of the King, a joint-heir with Jesus…never, never, never should we believe we’re not good enough. 

When and if that feeling of fear and rejection starts invading our thoughts, we should fight it with everything we’ve got.  God’s word is a weapon we can use against any feeling of doubt.  Meditating on His words of truth will only improve our lives and our self-esteem. 

 It is also of the utmost importance to remember although you may have done a number of questionable things in your past, the blood of Jesus is able to wash you as clean as snow…so much cleaner than snow!  He loves us so much and he has provided us with, “plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us  hope and a future.”  There is no need to ever look to man for your self esteem- that is simply a pitfall.  Look only to the Lord of Lords and King of Kings to identify yourself.  That’s where you’ll find the self-image that is real.  The image that is true.  There’s never a reason to define the worth of your life by a failure.  Your failures are not the whole story.  Your failures are just another chapter in the book.