Humility is defined as a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.
Self Esteem has been described as confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.
Self Love is defined as a regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.
Um, so is humility the opposite of self esteem? If someone claims to have love for themselves it is impossible for them to be humble as well?
Let’s now examine how the word of God discusses humility.
Romans 12:3-For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
1 Peter 5:5-In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Luke 14:11- For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Through the filter of God’s word, humility is not shown to be the opposite of self love but more in conflict with being proud/arrogant.
Proud-having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance, and
Arrogant-having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.
God is not commanding us to not love ourselves or to not embrace our self worth. God is directing us to not think that “we’re all that”. To not place ourselves on a pedestal. If we fall into arrogance we’ll begin to judge others against our warped opinion of ourselves. This is dangerous territory and will for sure have negative impact on relationships. It will be very challenging for two people to build a relationship if one person thinks more highly of themselves than they ought. Arrogance does not give room for patience, kindness or humility. An arrogant person will focus on the other’s person’s perceived shortcomings while overlooking their own.
God’s word instructs us to not exalt ourselves. No one is truly better than another person. An individual’s conduct/behavior may be better than the next person’s but “all lives matter”.
Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Therefore, I encourage you to believe in yourself and strive to be the best you that you can be. But, be careful to not position yourself as a judge and to not overthink your personal importance.