Bible Stuff That Won't Bore You

When the enemy lowers our self-esteem, it can prevent us from having true intimacy with God

Some times it feels like there is no shortage of things, or people, that can make us doubt ourselves, feel insecure or wound us in ways that can damage our self-esteem. However, the worst part about having low self-esteem, is that it leaves us vulnerable to attacks from the enemy that can separate us from God in ways that are incredibly destructive–how do we learn to recognize these attacks?


This article is particularly heavy, and contains some very challenging concepts, as it addresses how the enemy wounds us and lowers our self-esteem, preys on our insecurities, distracts us with worldly gratification to compensate, and then feeds all kinds of false doctrine to us because we are often too afraid to face the truth of God’s character, ie: God is to be greatly feared, and that our behavior has an impact on the level of friendship, love, and intimacy we experience in our relationship with him

Since the topic of fearing God is not commonly taught, it is important to have a shared view of what the term “fear” means, as the Hebrew and Greek definition is “to fear, revere, respect, to hesitate to do something for fear of harm”, which is what Jesus spoke about when he himself told us to fear God

Matthew 10:28
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell

This article took an exceptionally long time to write, as I made sure to explain things in detail, with lots of scriptural support, since the enemy is going to no doubt prey on people’s insecurities with the hope of making them either feel hopeless as if they cannot attain God’s love or approval, or they will seek to inspire the total opposite reaction, by leading people to think that no matter how they live, God will always love, reward, and befriend them in the same way–both of these extreme reactions are untrue

As always, I welcome feedback, but please take care to address the scriptures used in the article, it is not productive to cite a bunch of random scriptures or use personal conjecture to explain how the article does not line up with one’s personal feelings, or assumptions about God’s character–the conversation should be based on scripture, not personal opinion, and it should never be rude

Some of the concepts may contradict what you believe, things you have been told or understand from your readings of the Bible, so I encourage you to read the article in full, multiple times if necessary, rather than respond to the first thing you may not agree with–if it took a week to write the article, I guarantee skimming through it without carefully reading will make the full message of the content difficult to understand

And with that, let us dive in!

Low Self-Esteem Can Start, And Be Expressed, In Many Ways

First, there are a lot of ways we can have our self-esteem lowered

Though there are a number of ways it can happen, people often experience low self-esteem as the result of:

  • Abusive family members, friends, partners, strangers
  • Teasing by our peers because we do not talk, act, dress, etc… like others around us
  • Feeling inadequate when we compare ourselves to others in terms of money, our appearance, social status, clothing, intelligence, etc…

Sadly, regardless of age, social status, etc…, everyone I know has experienced at least one of these scenarios, and some times the effects can be so damaging, they alter people’s personalities tremendously

In fact, if these wounds go unhealed, they are so powerful, they can lead us to deny the very righteousness Jesus paid his life to provide, as they will guide us to behave in ways that are motivated by fear, insecurity, anxiety, vanity, pride, and a number of other negative emotions

For example, when we have low self-esteem, and/or feel insecure, we often do things like:

  • Date people that treat us horribly, because we enjoy whatever temporary validation we get out of the relationship
  • Make money, and material success, the focus of our life as a way of feeling secure
  • Constantly seek after the validation of others by becoming extroverted, living only for social activities
  • Tear others down in an effort to feel better about ourselves
  • Live in a sexually liberal way prior to marriage, because we are worried someone may not love or stay with us otherwise
  • Become prideful about our appearance in a way that causes us to make it our identity, often comparing ourselves to others
  • Seek escape through all kinds of things like drugs, alcohol, porn, video games, etc…
  • Pursue careers that make us feel respected or powerful
  • Be aggressive with others as a way of trying feel dominant or in control
  • Fall into deep depression, feeling as if life is not worth living

Now, when we objectively look at these things, they are obviously wrong, and destructive in ways we would not consciously chase after, however, the startling thing, is that almost every Christian falls prey to some of these attitudes without even realizing it

Lowering Our Self-Esteem Is The Best Long-Term Investment The Enemy Can Make In The War Against Us

Simply put, lowering our self-esteem is by far the best way the enemy can weaken our defenses, and separate us from God

It is baffling, but if the enemy engineers just a few negative events, or even a significant one , the effects can be incredibly far reaching, and are easily transferrable to others, mainly because having low self-esteem causes us to lose perspective not only on our personal value, but the value of others as well, leading us to mistreat ourselves, and each other, in ways we never would if we were healthy

When we feel worthless, we stop caring about ourselves, and in the process, we often stop caring about the feelings of others

When this happens, people around us lose their humanity, and we unknowingly treat them as objects, whose only purpose is to help us satiate our inner fears of rejection, quell our anxieties, and give us temporary confidence in the face of our insecurities

(This is a heavy concept, stay with me!)

This may sound extreme, but consider what kind of attitude it takes to think like the ways outlined above

We are not only losing our identity as a people who are loved by God, but are completely overlooking the identities of others around us as well


Think of it like this, say we are raised in a family environment that made us feel unloved by our parent of the opposite sex, this type of upbringing often leads us to feel insecure about whether we are attractive or not, and can create all sorts of rejection issues and insecurities when we start dating

As a response to this fear of rejection, we sometimes compensate by wanting people to find us beautiful or handsome, but do not care as much if people find us smart, funny or godly, we just want to feel physically appealing in the eyes of others as a form of validation

We see this subconscious fear of rejection in the form of flirting, promiscuity, listening to suggestive music, jealousy towards others that are attractive, and a number of other sexually focused, vanity driven behaviors

However, this type of thinking reduces our identities to absurd levels, as the only equation that exists between people becomes “does this person find me attractive or not?”

This same type of dehumanizing mentality occurs when we want people to look favorably at us because of our jobs, money, etc…, and also when we bury ourselves in various forms of escape, because we focus so hard on those things, we completely lose our identities, assuming whatever role our idols dictate to us

Do not be mistaken, sexuality, vanity, and relationships are idols, just like expensive cars, and fancy houses–none of which are things God wants us to put our hope in

To illustrate this even further, ask yourself whether God wants our identities, and self-worth, to be based on how much he loves us, or does he want our identities to be defined by:

  • What an abusive partner thinks of us
  • How much money we have
  • What superficial acquaintances think of us in a social setting
  • How venomous we can be towards others behind their backs
  • How we give our bodies to others because we are too afraid of being rejected
  • Whether we are attractive according to the standards of the world
  • How much time we waste obsessing over various forms of escape because we do not want to deal with reality
  • Jobs that are a snare to us
  • How powerless we make others feel
  • Feeling sad, like life is not a gift

Hmm, that is a tough one, let me get back to you!


No way!

God wants us to base our lives on the fact that we are God’s children, not victim’s of the world’s unhealthy attitudes

1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

It is ironic, and a testament to the enemy’s intelligence, that the things we feel insecure about, and chase after, are the very things Jesus told us to ignore in favor of seeking righteousness, but through untreated wounds, we often make them the anchors of our lives, sometimes without even realizing it

When we are wounded and seek happiness, fulfillment or strength from anything, or anyone, other than God, we separate ourselves from the only one who can heal us, and the enemy can go on auto-pilot while we quietly, or loudly, self-destruct, often bringing others with us

This is why lowering our self-esteem is such a good investment for the enemy, as if they can tie us up with the worries and cares of the world, we can be rendered almost completely ineffective, as we will remain immature, never learning to fully trust God with our lives, because we put our hope in what the world offers as happiness rather than follow after God, which often has a negative impact on others around us either by being a bad witness or by leading other Christians down paths God does not want anyone to be on

As A Response To Our Insecurities, And Fears, The Enemy Wants Us To Set Our Hearts On The World, Not On God

Okay, I know this sounds simple, but our hearts, and actions, are usually focused on what we find most valuable

Even though this is part of our human nature is completely obvious, the enemy controls this aspect of the war against us much better than we do, as they know if the world is where we are turning to for strength or happiness, that is what we are going to base our lives around, not God

Luke 12:34
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

The world’s definition of happiness is easy because it is self-centered, and socially acceptable, but it does not offer true peace, healing or growth, it only separates us from God by filling us with pride, causing us to feel like we do not need him because of our worldly success

1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever

The saddest part about chasing after the world, is that the main inspiration for doing so, is often due to being hurt at some point in our lives, which causes us to seek worldly success or validation in order to compensate for our fears and/or insecurities

It is ironic how the very same things we turn to, almost always prevent us from dealing with the issues that originally inspired them–the enemy is much smarter than we give them credit for when it comes to distracting us from our real problems by burying us in symptoms

However, the most destructive result of lowered self-esteem has not yet been discussed: the widespread acceptance of feel good, but completely false doctrine, due to the misunderstanding of God’s character

If We Are Afraid Of Being Rejected, It Can Be Almost Impossible To Understand God’s Character Or Have An Intimate Relationship With Him

One of the worst mistakes anyone can make in a fight is to underestimate their opponent

Despite all the “you are an overcomer!” teachings that exist out there, we have to respect the enemy’s ability to fight strategically, as they have managed to use our lowered self-esteem to not only weigh us down with worldly pursuits as a way of seeking happiness and security apart from God, but they have also managed to use our fears of rejection to twist modern Christianity’s understanding of God’s character in such a way that it is no longer Biblically accurate

(*Toot*toot* Next stop, uncomfortable truth time!)

To begin, it is important to understand that we serve a God whom the authors of both the OT and NT described as a consuming fire, one we are told to live in reverent fear of–Jesus himself told us to fear God!

Deuteronomy 4:24
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God

Hebrews 12:28-29
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire”

1 Peter 1:17
Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear

Deuteronomy 10:12
And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul

Psalm 96:4
For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods

Matthew 10:28
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell

However, according to many popular authors, pastors, etc…, God must have had some kind of undocumented personality transplant after the Bible was written, as they teach about a God we can never make mad, who forgives us no matter how we live or whether we repent, and regards everyone equally regardless of how they act–this is so wrong it is beyond upsetting

For example, there are a lot of people who do not like the idea that God loves or befriends the righteous more than the wicked, emphatically stating God loves everyone equally

Since this is such a hard thing for so many to accept, with an open mind, I have asked people to show one verse that clearly states God loves everyone equally regardless of how they act, but such a verse does not exist

Sure, people cite verses like John 3:16 which states God loves the world, or Romans 5:8 which says Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, but they do so errantly, as these verses say nothing about God loving people equally regardless of how they live, they just say his actions were inspired by love–simply put, the Bible does not say God loves everyone equally or that intimate friendship with him is available to every believer without condition

In fact, the Bible is clear that the opposite is true, as God regards, and loves, those who live according to his commandments differently than those who do not

This idea is discussed both in the New and Old Testament, as God’s love, and friendship, has conditions before it is given in full

For example, read the verses below, noting how they clearly state the level of God’s love, and friendship, with us rely on how much we obey, and respect him–pay special attention to the last few verses where Jesus himself speaks about this

Psalm 25:10
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant

Psalm 103:11
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him

Proverbs 11:20
The LORD detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless

Psalm 5:4-6
You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors

Psalm 11:5
The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates

1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil

1 John 5:3
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome

John 14:15
If you love me, you will obey what I command

John 14:21
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him

These verses, written to Jewish and/or Christian believers, do not exactly paint a picture of God loving or regarding everyone equally regardless of how they live–our level of intimacy with God is dependent on our obedience!

(Again, I welcome anyone who holds the idea that God loves everyone equally to provide clear scriptural support for their position)

Now, what the enemy’s masterful work in lowering our self-esteem has accomplished, is that instead of reading these verses and going “Wow, I did not realize God felt so strongly about our obedience that it causes him to love us more or less depending on how we act!”, people who are afraid of being rejected, and those who want to reach out to those who are afraid, will have their minds clouded, and deny what is plainly written in scripture by insisting God loves everyone equally, regardless of how we act, saying un-scriptural things like:

“God hates the sin but loves the sinner!”

“Parents love their children uniquely, not equally”

It is an entirely different topic to discuss whether God can “hate” someone according to the verses quoted above but still love them, but neither of the reactionary statements above can be used to support the idea that God loves everyone equally, as they rely on human logic that feels comfortable or convenient, rather than on direct, clear references from the Word of God

Colossians 2:8
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ

When I hear people teach things like “God loves everyone equally” or “God loves everyone uniquely”, it is upsetting, because the enemy has so many Christians wrapped up in the fear of being rejected, they wind up tailoring their understanding of God around whatever they feel comfortable with, without basing it on an accurate understanding of the Bible, which leads to the teaching, and acceptance, of all kinds of flaky theology the enemy delights over

For example, the enemy’s goal in teaching this kind of “God is a softy who could never be upset with you” theology, is to have Christians believe they will receive the fullness of God’s love, heavenly reward, and friendship, no matter what they do, and that they could never make God angry because he is so loving–this is incredibly far from the truth, and only keeps us from having true intimacy

Can you just imagine how the enemy rejoices when Christians are deceived into thinking they have intimacy with God, but go on living in ways that continually separate them from him, without ever truly experiencing the close relationship God is eager to enjoy with them?

Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear

1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil

Further to this, when Christians look at God in an idealized, fairy tale way, it contradicts the verses above which show how he is to be greatly feared, how he reserves his intimate friendship for those who obey him, and how the fullness of his love is only given to those who are obedient–Jesus said so himself!

I mean honestly, Christians forget we worship a God who struck the Israelites with plagues just for complaining they had no meat after they were led out of Egypt, that we worship a God who struck people dead for coming before him without reverence, and even struck people dead in the NT who lied in the presence of the church

God is to be greatly feared, and when his presence is strong, his judgment is swift even under the new covenant!

Numbers 11:4-6
The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

Numbers 11:31-33
Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague

Leviticus 10:1-3
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:

“‘Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored’”

Acts 5:1-5
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened

But why is having fear and reverence for God so important, and why does the enemy so desperately want us to view God as some kind of soft-hearted teddy bear?

Without The Fear Of God, The Battle Against Sin Is Next To Impossible

It is no secret that fighting sin is tough, and as much as people focus on the parts of the gospel that involve forgiveness of sins, heaven, blessings, etc…, they often overlook the constant messages the authors of the Bible taught regarding fearing, and obeying God

Even though messages about salvation, blessings, happiness, forgiveness, etc… are easy to preach and hear, they do not represent the full message of the gospel which also calls for repentance, reverence, and righteous obedience–without these teachings, Christians will have an incredibly inaccurate view of God, as they will think the full benefits of a relationship with him are available regardless of how they act or treat him

It is true that the new covenant brought a very different kind of relationship between God and man, but Paul was careful to warn Christians not to focus just on the promises and blessings of the new covenant as if they are all there is to Christianity, but to focus on obeying God’s righteous commands, “perfecting holiness out of reverence for God”, and also instructed us to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling”

No author in the Bible told us to accept Jesus, and then consider our efforts complete or that we should stop fearing God, they encouraged us to fear him out of reverence, and gratitude for what he has done for us!

2 Corinthians 7:1
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God

Romans 1:5
Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith

Philippians 2:12
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling

What Paul, Jesus, and the Apostles, taught, was that we should not just look at the promises of God, thinking we are entitled to them by default, but to live as those who truly respect God for who he is–a consuming fire

However, it is very common for people to be so afraid of rejection, they cannot accept this aspect of God’s personality, as their fears only allow them to view God as some kind of knight in shining armor that lives up to all their fantasies of unconditional love, security, and happiness–expectations that often stem from unhealed wounds they carry

Having this attitude towards God, whether consciously or subconsciously, leaves us incredibly vulnerable if our relationship with God does not live up to our inflated expectations, or sense of timing, as the enemy will gladly twist any unmet expectations in ways that cause us to feel like God does not love us or is not there for us if we do not receive what we want, when we want it

I mean come on, that is a brilliant game, we have to admit!

To summarize their tactics, look at the process the enemy employs against our relationship with God:

1) Wound us in some way, lowering our self-esteem, preventing us from wanting to be vulnerable, and making it difficult to trust

2) Bombard us with all sorts of insecurities that lead us to chase after happiness in the world because it is easy, acceptable, and provides all kinds of quick gratification, and validation, without any sort of conditions or need for vulnerability

3) Then, based on our fears of rejection, and expectations of quick gratification without conditions, the enemy twists our perception of God so we can only accept him as someone who gives us his best regardless of how we treat him, leaving us open to all kinds of disappointment if our self-centered, un-spiritual expectations are not met

When you look at point three, we sound like an abusive partner we would never want to be with, ie: we are expecting the best of someone regardless of whether we treat them well or not

Also, look back at the beginning of the article where it talks about how we ignore the identities of those we want something from, the enemy’s game makes so much sense now doesn’t it?

If our self-esteem is lowered, we can be driven by the desire to have our fears, and insecurities quieted, which can blind us from seeing God’s true identity, ie: one who is to be greatly respected and feared, not treated as a forgiveness or blessing dispenser

This is why I respect the enemy’s ability to manipulate us, as people rarely see through these games, which translates into numerous Christians who are deceived, as they worship a God they do not fully know or understand–they worship a personalized, fictional God born of the enemy’s wounds, and their own self-oriented, fear-driven, wishful thinking

Isaiah 65:2
All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations

Not only do our fears of rejection keep us from understanding God’s true character, but when people do not respect God like they should, they think very little of sinning against him, mainly because they feel like they can do whatever they want because God will unconditionally love them the same anyway

This is all kinds of wrong

What kind of God would we serve if he befriended, and loved everyone the same even if they lived as hypocritical liars, shaming the very gospel, and salvation he paid for with his own blood?

Philippians 1:27
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ

1 John 2:4-6
The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did

Hebrews 10:29
How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Now, of course God is always willing to forgive us when we turn from sin, and truly repent, but that is a much different situation than if we willingly hold onto sin with an attitude of disrespect or irreverence–we are openly warned about not doing this!

The Enemy Knows Respect And Love For God Renders Their Temptations Powerless

The enemy knows how important it is for Christians to misunderstand the need to fear God, as it has been one of their most useful tactics in the war against us, in particular, the enemy knows fearing God keeps people from sinning, as it was the very thing that kept Jesus himself from sinning!

Isaiah 11:1-3
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord

(Not only did Jesus fear God, he delighted to fear him, which means he was filled with joy when respecting God’s will above his own, even when he faced temptation!)

Exodus 20:20
Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning”

In contrast, the idea that God should be greatly feared, or even revered as awesome, is almost completely absent from contemporary Christianity today, as many teach that a relationship with God, and salvation itself, is completely unaffected by how we live our lives

This masterful deception is one of the enemy’s biggest victories against the church, and for many, the acceptance of these types of false doctrines stems from the fear of rejection the enemy planted in them long ago, as the enemy loves it when people go on sinning thinking their lives please God no matter what

However, once we learn to honor God’s commands in our life, and have a true change of heart, our love for him will be the inspiration for our obedience, but that process can only start once we fear and respect God enough to resist sin instead of caving into temptation, which is the true meaning of the fear of God as noted at the beginning, ie: “to fear, revere, respect, to hesitate to do something for fear of harm”

Psalm 85:9
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land

Isaiah 33:6
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure

Ecclesiastes 12:13
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man

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