Self esteem?

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (St. Paul)

I got to the place where I did not care whether everyone knew how bad I was, I cared for nothing on earth, saving to get out of my present condition. (Oswald Chambers)

I sickened at the sight of Myself; how should I ever get rid of the demon?  If I were to mind what it says, I should soon be sick of it; even now I am ever and anon disgusted with its paltry mean face, which I meet at every turn.  No! Let me have the company of the Perfect One! (George MacDonald)

My original and inward pollution, that, that was my plague and my affliction; sin and corruption, I said, would as naturally bubble out of my heart, as water would bubble out of a fountain.  I thought now that everyone had a better heart than I had; I could have changed heart with anybody; I thought none but the devil himself could equal me for inward wickedness and pollution of mind. (John Bunyan, “Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners”)

When we enter upon the spiritual we should consider, and examine to the bottom, what we are.  And then we should find ourselves worthy of all contempt, and such as do not deserve the name of Christians. (Brother Lawrence)

Woe is me, that men should think there is anything in me. God is my witness, before whom I am as crystal, that this sink of corruption which I find within, makes me go with low sails. And if others saw what I see, they would look by me, but not to me. (Samuel Rutherford)

I, Patrick, a sinner, very rustic, and the least of all the faithful, and very contemptible in the estimation of most men. (St. Patrick)

I’ve never met a man who has given me as much trouble as myself. (D.L. Moody)

In view of the difficulty of bringing our hearts to this complete submission to the Divine will, we may well adopt Fenelon’s prayer: ‘O God, take my heart for I cannot give it; and when Thou hast it, keep it for I cannot keep it for Thee; and save me in spite of myself.’ (D.L. Moody)

The Christian is one who has forever given up the hope of being able to think of himself as a good man.  He is forever a sinner for whom the Son of God had to die because by no other means could he be forgiven.  How ready we are to take Christ as our pattern and teacher only, using the words of the Gospel, and yet never allowing ourselves to face the experience of forgiveness at the foot of the Cross–the humiliating discovery that, so far from our being like Jesus, there is literally no hope for us at all except that He has forgiven us.  There is a whole universe of moral and psychological difference between saying, ‘Christ is my pattern, and if I try I can be like Him’, and saying, ‘I am so far from goodness that Christ had to die for me that I might be forgiven.’ The one is still in the world of legalism, and its center of attention is still the self. The other is in the world of grace, and its center of attention is another to whose love it is our whole and only aim to give ourselves. The one must always lack what the other increasingly has, the spontaneity and whole-heartedness that come when there is the whole force of an emotionally integrated life behind action. (Lesslie Newbigin)

Humility is the very essence of holiness and of blessedness.  It is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.  Where God is all, self is nothing.  Never, never, even in glory, can we be other than ransomed sinners. (Andrew Murray)

I knew that I was in the presence of God.  A holy moment.  I felt that if I moved I would die.  And then I could not stop crying.  Uncontrollable crying.  There was no room in me for me, for self.  I knew I was unclean, abased, ashamed, in need of a bath.  It was the exact opposite of the self-realization offered by forces opposing God.  I was inadequate.  When the varnish of vanity and self-righteousness had been removed, there was nothing left of this self-pride of mine, this self-assurance, this self-acclaim. In the presence of the Spirit of God I knew I was less than the chemicals I was made of. And yet he loved me. I knew full well that he loved me. The most humbling experience of my life. (Maurice Rawlings, “To Hell and Back”)

The real test of being in the presence of God is that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object.  It is better to forget about yourself altogether. (C.S. Lewis)

I have a much greater sense of my universal, exceeding dependence on God’s grace and strength and mere good pleasure, of late, than I used formerly to have; and have experienced more of an abhorrence of my own righteousness.  The very thought of any joy arising in me on any consideration of my own amiableness, performances or experiences or any goodness of heart and life, is nauseous and detestable to me.  And yet I am greatly afflicted with a proud and self-righteous spirit, much more sensibly than I used to be formerly.  I see that serpent rising and putting forth its head continually everywhere, all around me. (Jonathan Edwards)

I never knew how bad a heart I had.  Yet I do know that I love God and love His work, and desire to serve Him only in all things.  Often I am tempted to think that one so full of sin cannot be a child of God at all; but I try to throw it back. (Hudson Taylor)

He will cleanse us, and let us share His life.  And there will be such a sense of it’s being a life that does not belong to you.  When one receives Christ there is no pride because of one’s own goodness; but we feel like lying in the dust and saying, “I am nothing but the chief of sinners.” (A.B. Simpson)

Saturday, May 15.  Appeared exceeding vile in my own eyes, saw much pride and stubbornness in my heart.  Indeed, I never saw such a week as this before; for I have been almost ready to die with the view of the wickedness of my heart.  I could not have thought I had such a body of death in me. (David Brainard, from his journal)

Tuesday, October 26.  Underwent the most dreadful distresses, under a sense of my own unworthiness.  Indeed I never can be faithful for one moment, if God do not grant me special help.  In the evening I went to the meetinghouse, and it looked to me near as easy for one to rise out of the grave and preach, as for me.  However, God afforded me some life and power, both in prayer and sermon, and was pleased to lift me up and show me that He could enable me to preach!  Oh, the wonderful goodness of God to so vile a sinner! (David Brainard, from his journal)

We must get sick unto death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God can tell us about ourselves.  We cannot touch the depths of meanness in ourselves. There is only one place where we are right, and that is in Christ Jesus. (Oswald Chambers)

The eyes of the Most High God, which behold in all places both the evil and the good, even those most holy eyes have not seen amongst sinners one more vile, nor more insufficient, nor a greater sinner than I, and therefore to do that wonderful work which He intends to do, He hath not found on earth a viler creature than I; and for this cause He elected me to confound the nobility, and the grandeur, and the strength, and beauty, and wisdom of the world, that all men may know that all virtue and all goodness are of Him, and not of the creature, and that none should glory in His presence; but that he who glories should glory in the Lord, to whom is all honour and glory in eternity! (St. Francis)

“I do assert, once more, and I think the experience of God’s children beareth me out, that, when we shall be most advanced, and when we come, at last, to sit down in God’s kingdom above, we shall find that we have not learnt all that there is to be learnt of the foulness of our nature, and the desperateness of our soul’s disease. ‘The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores.’ ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?’ ‘Cleanse thou me from secret faults.’ ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ Perhaps, if we knew more of this terrible evil, it might imperil our reason. Hardly could it be possible for us to bear the full discovery and live. Among the wise concealments of God, is that which hides from open view the depravity of our heart, and the corruption of our nature.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“It is quite possible for every one of us to have a perfectly good conscience. A happy state to be in! Have you a good conscience? Are you under accusation, under condemnation? Are you fretting and worrying about the badness of your own heart? That means that you have not the answer of a good conscience to God.” “What is the matter? You are still looking for something from nature, from the old man. You had better give it up, as that is the only way out–repudiate it. Tell yourself and tell the accuser once and for all that in you, that is, in your flesh, dwelleth no goodness, and you never expect to find any. The enemy knows it, and yet he is trying to get you on an impossible quest for something he knows you will never find, and that is how he worries you. Years of it!” “Then why not come onto the Lord’s ground and outmaneuver him? Let us settle it that we can never expect to find any good in our old nature. All our good is in another, even our Lord Jesus. It is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” (T. Austin-Sparks)

“Now my eyes have seen You.  Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job)