levofloxacin csf infection para sirve flagyl v ovulos tab baclofen 10mg tab hopemedicalinstitute.org arman-crusher.com can you take diflucan 150mg two days in a row zovirax ointment order biodisponibilidad de propranolol cytotec cuando vale en bolivia augmentin 1g diluted water wbstaffing.pl para que sirve las tabletas cialis inderal 40mg k faiday wellbutrin social phobia indomethacin 25 mg gout metronidazole for dogs is for what phenergan dc cephalexin skin infections zyban ilaci kullananlar valtrex dosage treat shingles dosaggio prednisone nel gatto albuterol cough medicine side effects can you use azithromycin for uti misoprostol panama using zovirax while pregnant phenergan given iv push adiconsult.pl hastings-print.co.uk can diovan 80 mg be split zofran while you are pregnant taking xarelto and cialis can venlafaxine or wellbutrin miss period cytotec dosage for 4weeks recommeded mg of nolvadex when on cycle doxycycline for dogs side effects buy que pasa cuando se toma cytotec y se aborta amour 50mg vs synthroid 50mg mkvisio.pl adalat by sony eight does lamisil cream work for yeast infections ciprofloxacin kidney disease history of prednisone fluconazole mg yeast infection celexa 20 mg get you high imwithpete.net clomid assisted pregnancy beribak.com warchiwach.pl sildenafil uk boots tossiu amoxil novamoxin amoxicillin birth control side effects of keflex 500 aliskiren amlodipine hydrochlorothiazide hplc gophercount.com andrzejbieda.com myghsy.com zyrtec and singulair for rash lamisil tablets for yeast infection on man mkvisio.pl axcel metronidazole irontownmodular.com why no alcohol with viagra synthroid and tiredness allegra mcevedy wikipedia calendarfly.com sildenafil erections propranolol e icc huaxzw.com buy flagyl cheap carrepairmanualdoc.com hopemedicalinstitute.org diflucan side effects in men doxycycline hyclate for sinus cats 50 milligram viagra vs 100 milligrams 365travelinsurance.com miscarriage 1st round of clomid levitra odt and delayed orgasm what classification is cipro in upd315.com neurontin zoloft wellbutrin cymbalta disclaimer dosing for keflex for strep throat septra ds mg haltner.com medicosefectivos.net atenolol bodybuilding id-protect.org icd 9 code for intrathecal baclofen pump periartrite voltaren crema priligy y viagra a la vez seroquel ativan together asi.wpgsystem.com sinus infection antibiotic gumss dosage lipitor and high ck levels para que serve o ciproxin 500mg where can i buy kamagra in hull instant viagra in india for men harbifilmizle.com original cialis 5mg without prescription where can i buy pct cycle nolvadex uk beribak.com asylum-booksandgames.com the side effect of lipitor cat prozac side effects incontinence zyprexa hepatotoxicity ivermectin injekci? ?ra cialis 5mg curitiba 20 mg cialis ivermectina serve para caes desogestrel aristo dawkowanie finnparanoids.org cialis best prices will phenergan work for a hangover headache how much trazodone is too much zyprexa and weight gain bmmpm.com infusedstudios.ca bactrim disulfiram reaction hydrochlorothiazide kidney problems vardenafil nasal spray from indian shopping naproxen sodium over the counter instead of 500 viagra in hackney shops h-o-s.co.uk h-o-s.co.uk what albuterol dose to give a dog rob kardashian drink viagra viagra problemlos kaufen std antibiotics cipro 120 mg strattera drinking clomid and type 1 diabetes kimlearningcenter.com when to use my albuterol inhaler spearsecurity.com ibuprofen en maxalt buy ketoconazole cream online uk ingrediant de viagra robaxin cramps 283858.net norvasc 5 mg costo therapeutic class of metoprolol tartrate michellestockman.com adidas allegra home made erection spray doxycycline goats coreg 6.25 mg efectos secundarios does cymbalta cause sleepless nights metformin pepto bismol prednisone 20 mg hep wirh toothache dosage of prednisone for sinus mobic stomach bleeding hedleyenterprises.co.uk flagyl dosage to treat c diff irishphil.com bactrim fort dosage does accutane cause brain damage amitriptyline zoloft together caneasucre.com white patch nizoral johnson johnson diflucan made burning worse arthurstractors.com withdrawel symptoms sertraline 100mg side effects hywt.com hanhvyshop.vn melanievotaw.com raloxifene 120 valtrex for cold sores on lips kosbonso.com mebletmd.pl flagyl per scalari alatnj.org quetiapine price australia tetracycline sunlight hoxtonradio.com ithipster.pl perbedaan piroxicam dan meloxicam viagra best type for age 53 in pakistan plavix 75 mg prix maroc metronidazole pill identifier 167 fases ciclo menstrual estradiol bemalingsplan.com ketoconazole incontinence wallflore.co.uk metronidazole tablet cure for uti can you take naproxen 500 mg and aspirin together ondansetron odt stomach flu henrycavillfan.org is cialis doping augmentin in timpul menstruatiei viagra en goutte how i can buy misoprostol in mumbai can overdosing on metoprolol kill you audiomaximus.com buy erythromycin online balkan-area.com ibizaglobalradio.com does gabapentin treat nerve pain enteric fever azithromycin does allegra need to build up arman-crusher.com chaman bhai ki adalat ilosone drops for sore throat claritin seroquel interaction proper doses of metronidazole for badbreath nifedipine lidocaine ointment recipe clonidine tablets 3mg webfin.pl side effects of going off neurontin hpaulsantmire.com cabergoline testosterone designtide.jp free trial duloxetine accutane 4th month results iheartjonahbees.net cloridrato de tamsulosin 0 4mg bisenconsulting.com cialis effectiveness long term paroxetine 20 mg image accutane severe dry skin neurontin 300 para se utiliza dosage of cytotec for 1 month pregnant sildenafil 20 mg troche does clomid cause ovarian cancer insideinsights.net celticdan.com jual lamisil can augmentin get u high halfwaardetijd clomid what is ciprofloxacin solution how much is viagra in philliphines will gabapentin 100 mg get you high clomid side effects rxlist generic esomeprazole vs nexium buspar for long term alcohol flagyl synthroid and benefiber will 2 500 pills of flagyl cure trich sildenafil citrate las vegas fluconazole 200mg when does it take effect seroquel en spierpijn inderal come aspirinetta metoprolol tartrate how long to work obat apa doxazosin mesylate nlpcloud.net cdfeorellana.com is there a way to get viagra without a perscription ciproxin e gravidanza is lotensin the same as lisinopril prenom allegra origine captionedit.com clomid hcg shot success rate what drug class is quetiapine cost of cialis for 1 night application of lamisil cream nightanddaysoireeanimation.com allegra 180 effects artcontact.ge viagra india online sales hoxtonradio.com 100 mgs of paxil bushidozazen.com when can you use clomid bclawyers.tk aciclovir kremas farizol metronidazole 60 ml muteber.com bactrim ds does it kill skin parasites apa gunanya obat farizol metronidazole 125 mg africanamericanimages.us how to reduce dosage of zoloft metronidazole trichomoniasis pregnancy propecia gets rid of itch trinessa vs desogen lexapro side effects vivid dreams xenical uk buy adiconsult.pl tofranil mg help with cost of cialis can a 11. year old take augmentin 875 amitriptyline uk napahappy.com cardura 4 mg use uncn.org bactrim dosing for mrsa cellulitis yalovadaarsa.com imwithpete.net bio metronidazole iv injection in pregnancy webfin.pl why plavix and aspirin combination astakaryaindotama.com si puo prendere amoxicillina gravidanza propranolol and loss of appetite tetracycline prepper mycities.com.au mooboos.com doxycycline arrow 100 alcool digoxin prime work seroquel dosage borderline personality disorder bactrim 200 mg ulotka glibenclamide metformin combination bmmpm.com difference between amoxil forte and amoxil tm take paxil or not ampicillin sensitivity definition doxycycline for dogs no prescription overnight buy viagra directly from pfizer online cialis 5 torrino topamax and blood tests can i take tylenol cold with augmentin que hacer si no se disuelven las pastillas cytotec nightanddaysoireeanimation.com allopurinol hereisthebestin online infusedstudios.ca bactrim dosage for gastroenteritis get metronidazole gel without going doctor zyvox use in dogs myghsy.com price of metronidazole in uae vollemaan.org yagbank.com misoprostol 25 mcg bula is it ok to take naproxen 9 hours apart 500mg catholic.net amoxicillin ratiopharm 1000 compresse viagra tablets men uk acyclovir 800 mg tablets generic zovirax propranolol actions olanzapine 10 mg info aus vancampinc.com montelukast and wine harelitasarim.com low dose cialis and chills no1fl.com levofloxacin induced torsades de pointes mkvisio.pl ascbelfast.com viagra der kleine nils imwithpete.net celecoxib celebrex price propranolol for anxiety treatment khasiat grazeo 20 piroxicam singulair 20 mg dosage diverticulitis treatment amoxicillin aliikayaks.com asthma prednisone not helping cymbalta 60 mg tablets viagra for menn over the counter clomipramine 25 mg for dogs cytotec 1 month philippines paano gamitin plavix resistance test revopac.com obat celecoxib 7767 buy cheap actos harga misoptostol cytotec di palembang apparel-chic.com ketoconazole shampoo for itchy dog avodart mood muteber.com diovan 160 mg price buspirone 5 mg snort celexa vs placebo inderal public speaking dosage designtide.jp buy fluconazole 50mg boots signs of allergic reactions to amoxicillin tamoxifen and breast cancer nightanddaysoireeanimation.com hagens berman nexium still pregnant after taking cytotec misoprostol venta sin receta en morelia often take amoxicillin prednisone alternative for arthritis how can i buy doxycycline for my dogs propecia foam nz prednisone taper pregnancy amitriptyline side effect cough clopidogrel plavix bijwerkingen hopemedicalinstitute.org methocarbamol percocet comprar misoprostol argentina happydeal4u.com irishphil.com tadalafil otc in mexico cipro amazing on ear prednisone causing bleeding clonidine hcl uses viagra johannesburg zyban fait maigrir andiescafenapavalley.com aneyron.com reputable generic cialis online taking fluoxetine without water is bactrim good for a kidney infection horyniec.com.pl dexilant and zoloft what is in albuterol sulfate that makes you jittery how long do i have to take avodart cab u take acyclovir for urinary tract infectiin accutane gbm lipitor causing arm pain how fast does paxil start working muslimdate.com ndc number singulair que es el estradiol 17 beta doxycycline for dogs ear infection rdy 339 benazepril can amoxicillin damage the liver tadalafil ati debo tomar cytotec dapoxetine tablets vendita can you take oral phenergan with oral dilaudid how long for skin fungus to clear rash from fluconazole hlahlaaung.com mipcperu.com cymbalta nihb thyroxine sodium tablets ip side effects lamictal azithromycin hpaulsantmire.com propecia 0.25mg eod h-o-s.co.uk bula de medicamentos nizoral isotretinoina prescrivibilita online viagra 25mg joint pain with mylan amoxicillin 500mg side effects doxycycline dosage per pound zyprexa zydis dosage range artdecade.com cialis three day shipping chen-liu.com nightanddaysoireeanimation.com ardour viagra uk novaisi.com blackisbusiness.info ciclo di clomid redunat orlistat 120 mg batkomuhendislik.com per qka perdoret tadalafil angellsangels.com viagra 100mg age limit cialis quale scegliere bikerlawblog.com is olanzapine mylan how do i know if i need more lexapro q serve remedio propranolol gynecomastia from baclofen mobilfo.com is the use of glucophage 500 mg help to get pregnant levaquin 500 mg generic name cialis malaysia guardian cambridge erectile disfunction illinois clinics dose of amoxicillin for 2 year old kamagra deutschland forum should metformin be taken on an empty stomach buy generic clomipramine las pastillas de genoprazol contiene misoprostol viagra cheapest online will amoxicillin treat sinusitis viagra price buy yalovadaarsa.com blog.fiberwire.ca metoprolol tartrate 150 mg dosage 1 mg of propecia up dose sandoz bupropion sr 150mg effects cost with insurance escitalopram albuterol sulfate price increase buspar and klonopin anxiety internationalintellectualproperty.org avodart adcc buy valtrex is the iui the same with 100mg clomid or 50 mg clomid variamedia.com.pl cymbalta zinc thyroxine tsh test huaxzw.com artdecade.com metformin in the uk harelitasarim.com mycontradictions.com is valtrex taken for cold sores seroplex ou cymbalta alternate of septra ds dosage recharger sa mobicarte sfr cytotec used for labor todo sobre ciprofloxacino viagra remain erect after how long do you have a tolerance to gabapentin muteber.com brianlinton.com can zoloft cause impotence side effects after stopping tamoxifen after 5 years tratamiento de sarna en perros con ivermectina harga voltaren 75 gram baufinanzierung-aktuell.com mipcperu.com disulfiram during pregnancy taro warfarin 3mg where can i get nolvadex in australia side effects of missing dose of paxil cr xenical generico es bueno cheap on line fluconazole 200 mg adv-re.com

What Makes You So Special?

Christian Self-worth: the right and wrong kinds of self-esteem.
by Amelie Torre | Source:
Self-esteem is a term that is bandied about at a dizzying rate these days. It is an important issue and definitely merits our attention in the fields of education and psychology. But there are many misleading conceptions of the idea out there, and in order to make sense of them, there are two interesting sources to draw from; an in-depth study from Monsignor Cormac Burke, and a children’s book called “You Are Special” by Max Lucado.

To begin, some sharp distinctions need to be made between the right and wrong kinds of self-esteem. To draw one’s sense of worth merely from what you think of yourself or what others think of you is to build on sand. Yet this is exactly the kind of self-esteem that has wreaked so much havoc over the years, having been promoted since the 60s.

The claim is that a person can build their sense of self-worth by deciding for themselves what is right or wrong, what feels good for them and becoming a ‘success’ purely in their own terms. But what kind of fruit does this unqualified esteem for oneself bear?

Fr. Burke has a very clear and objective answer drawn from some scientific research done by four psychologists in May of 2003. “Having looked at all the existing studies on self-esteem, they found no significant connection (emphasis mine) between feelings of high self-worth and academic achievement, interpersonal relationships or healthy lifestyles. On the contrary, they concluded, high self-regard is very often found in people who are narcissistic and have an inflated sense of popularity and likeableness” (from “Self-Esteem: Why? Why Not?” Homiletic and Pastoral Review, February 2008).

It would seem obvious, then, that this kind of self-esteem would be on its way out, but the dictatorship of relativism still possesses a stranglehold on many educational institutions. Even worse, it has crept into Catholic education. Fr. Burke cites a textbook for primary religious education in which the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector is twisted to such a degree that the Pharisee is the example of ‘being at peace with oneself’ instead of the humble tax-collector. Fr. Burke goes on: “The twelve-year-olds are told ‘Self-esteem is our identity (who we are)…What we think of who we are is our self-esteem.’ This is, to say the least, a very confused and confusing statement. What we think of who we are often does not correspond to what we really are.” This is the core of the problem at hand with an erroneous concept of self-esteem.

Society would have each of us define ourselves totally according to our own standards, and at the same time blithely and uncritically accept everyone else’s. But this can never work because those who define their own standards still compare themselves to others and seek to defeat their rivals. It leads to an endless downward spiral of solipsism because there is nothing outside the self to measure oneself against. Simultaneously, the risk of being defined by others grows, because externals necessarily and unavoidably have an influence on how one perceives oneself. In order to invent one’s own standards of success, one has to draw from other standards that exist in order to accept or reject them.

The Christian concept of self-esteem, on the other hand, is expressed quite well in Max Lucado’s “You Are Special”. This is a children’s story that many adults could also profit from. It recounts the journey of a wooden toy named Punchinello who lives among other wooden toys called Wemmicks. These Wemmicks spend all their time awarding each other with stars according to beauty or talent, or giving out gray dots as demerits. This outlines the first, most superficial level; basing self-esteem on what others think.

Punchinello has no special talents, and so receives only dots. He decides to go outside the village to do some soul-searching. Then he is tempted to think: do I need to define my own self-worth? He is tempted to think that he is just not ‘a good wooden person’. Punchinello is tired of being defined by others, but to define oneself is also unsatisfactory. Intuitively he knows he has to look outside himself. Here the definition of self-esteem provided by the religious textbook cited above does not provide a good answer. At this point in the story, defining oneself merely through ‘what we think of who we are’ would be deadly in either extreme. Punchinello could either fall into despair or defy the judgment of the whole village by affirming that he is something he is not. This is the turning point in the story because Punchinello has to look outside himself in order to define his self-worth, but he is not quite sure about how to do this.

Then he comes across another wooden toy named Lucia, who has no stars or dots. She has escaped either extreme and resists all labeling from the outside world. How has she done it? She goes to see the woodcarver Eli every day. Eli represents God the Creator and Father, since he has created all Wemmicks. So Punchinello goes to see Eli and discovers that he is known by name, accepted and loved unconditionally for who he is. He learns that he is worth God’s love for him; only God’s opinion matters. Thus begins the process of allowing all other labels to melt away, and dots start to fall off Punchinello. This is in agreement with Fr. Burke’s definition of the proper kind of self-esteem: “The root of healthy self-esteem is not to think well of yourself, or to have others (apparently) praise you. It is to be convinced that you are of worth because you know someone loves you, and loves you even if others don’t and even if you are tempted (the ultimate temptation) to believe that you are not worth loving at all…Secular psychologists and educationalists offer a plethora of programs to raise self-esteem; but practically all involve turning a blind eye to one’s objective limitations and weaknesses. Only the Christian view of self takes account both of my defects---my petty self-centeredness---and of God’s unconditional love for me.” Lucado’s story is truly Christian because Punchinello resists that temptation to define himself solely on his own terms. He simply and humbly presents himself to Eli, his creator, and learns that he is loved for who he is and not his achievements (or lack of them.)

To love or hate oneself on one’s own terms leads to ultimate ruin and the worst self-deception possible. When each person is loved for who they are, that is precisely the point at which they begin to achieve much more than they thought possible, because they believe they are much more than they thought, and that the consequences of their actions are important. To salvage hearts and souls from the wreckage caused by erroneous concepts of self-esteem will be a long and painful process, but it must begin. Self-esteem must be based on something outside oneself if it is to avoid the pitfalls of total arrogance on one hand and despair on the other. Those working in the fields of education and psychology would do well to examine what kind of self-esteem they are promoting, and whether they want to create a society rife with uncontrolled passions or with a humble search for the ideal outside the self, which is the only path toward true self-fulfillment.

Click Here to Donate Now!

Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.




Post a Comment
Published by: ANgela
Date: 2010-05-05 13:48:08
For someone who teaches teenage girls i have found your article complete and edifying. Today I had a roaring argument with my students who claimed that self-esteem is a virtue!! I am most edified by what I have found here and tomorrow i will go back to class better armed to argue my case. The fact of finding the source of esteem outside of ourselves is absolutely noble. I wish many would believe this.

Write a comment on this article

Email required (will not be published)
required Country

Most Popular