I. A Wrong Self Image = Self Deception
We are to correct the way we think about ourselves so we do not live with a deceptive image of ourselves. We really do not know more about ourselves than God for he sees our depths (Psalms 139:2-3; Heb. 4: 12-13; 1 Jn 1:8).
Clearly man makes plans in the heart. A man with a true self image acknowledges that he is not an independant being. He understands that any plans he makes must be made with a "pencil with an eraser" understanding that God's will can change his plans as He desires. James 4:13-15 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-- (14) yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (15) Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."
Making plans believing our own self deception of who we think we are without giving a thought to the presence of God in the plans is foolish. One who looks at him / her self biblically will understand that their plans are subject to the Lord. This will affect how we see and understand God's changes to our plans and how His providence is communucated in prayer, to others and in our thanksgiving. (see blog entry - The Providence of God Brings Comfort to Believers).
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. (Prov. 16:1)
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the LORD weighs the motives. (Prov. 16:2)
For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He watches all his paths.(Prov. 5:21)
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Prov. 12:15)
II. We are to see our lives in the control of God. It is God and not man that directs our affairs. Therefore, we are not to fret but accept the sovereign purposes of the LORD.
The wages of the righteous is life, the income of the wicked, punishment. (Prov. 10:16)
It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. (Prov. 10:22)
If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner! (Prov. 11:31)
Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the LORD always. (Prov. 23:17)
III. How to View Oneself In Relation to the Word of God
"Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine." (Prov. 8:14)
"No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the LORD." (Prov. 21:30)
IV. We Are Not To Esteem Ourselves But To Esteem Others.
a. Our Church Leaders
.(1Th 5:12 - 13) And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
b. Our Church Brothers
Phi 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
V. As We love our God and Neighbor We Will Be Esteemed Properly In The Sight of God and Man.
Pro 3:3-4 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. (4) So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.