Ego: (n) a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
Identity: (n) the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.
The giving of compliments to a person is said to inflate one’s ego; that it makes one see themselves as more important than they really are. But how is it that we can measure just how “important” someone is, and then agree on the “right amount” of self-esteem they should have? Is there really a problem with seeing yourself as important? Is it better to have a low opinion of ourselves? How exactly should we – as Christians – perceive ourselves?
After having several discussions that touched on this subject, it set me to pondering the question of ego. Typically, it is depicted as a bad thing. Why? To begin with, it is often an issue of pride.
“Pride puffeth up, but love edifieth.” – 1 Cor. 8:1
“His pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God. – 2 Chron. 26:16
“In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” – Psalm 10:4
Going off these Scriptures, we see that ego is a fleshly pride in our own achievements, our own merit, and our own self. Pride leaves no room – nor thought – for God. It is quite literally saying, “It’s all about me and what I’ve done.” This then, is ego, and it is a wrong way of thinking for it is ungodly, and a sin in itself. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, so nothing we are and nothing we do will ever be worthy of a high self-esteem.
Are we then to have a poor image of ourselves? Are we to be a lowly and depressed people with no joyful or pleasing thought for our own existence?