“happy to be me”

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I sat with Bennett watching Seseme Street this morning when suddenly some orange ball with lips started singing a song about how she was “happy to be me”….

What? I screamed inside a little. Seriously, what kind of messages are some of these kids shows sending through our kids heads? Sure, this message may not seem destructive. In fact, some may actually think it’s really great and promotes good self-esteem. I just wonder, what is this message really growing in us and our little ones?

Do you remember the first time you heard the “self-esteem” message? I do. I was in 4th grade at Griffith Elementary School. Our class walked in a straightish line past the library to a small closet-like room where we met the guidance counselor. Scary. Seriously, the room just gave me the hibbity jibbies, just like that singing orange ball did. Anyhow, we listened to our guidance counselor teach us what self-esteem was, good and bad, then talked about how we needed to “accept ourselves as we were” and “not give in to peer pressure.” Remember that talk?

Now it starts as toddlers or earlier, instilling “good self-esteem mindsets” before they can even speak full sentences. Is there really a self-hatred epidemic that our world needs to fight? Do we need dancing oranges and purple dinosaurs to teach us how to love ourselves? Perhaps. I cannot deny my own self-hate. Can’t deny that the media and peer pressure can sway the impressionable to do unhealthy, ungodly things.

I guess my problem with this emphasis on “I’m happy to be me-focus” is that I wonder if we have taught indulgence and complacency alongside “good self-esteem”. Have you noticed the media’s focus on pleasing you? It’s “have it your way” and “you’re worth it” and “the right one for you.” Merchants want to make you feel good, make you feel that you are important, so you’ll buy their product no matter how indulgent it is. It just seems like we’ve missed the issue altogether.

Why are we teaching people to learn to accept themselves “as they are”? My guesses would be 1) people have lost the care to hold their tongues and there is an abundance of verbal abuse, 2) therefore, people cannot handle any kind of criticism, 3) people have stopped believing in, relying on, and trusting God, 4) so they have to look to someone else for strength, but others prove to fall short, 5) SO our society doesn’t want to be judged by things controllable nor uncontrollable. Whew, chew on that. I wrote it, and I’m dizzy.

It just seems like since it’s not wise or healthy to get in the habit of people-pleasing, we are being taught to please ourselves first, er accept ourselves. Maybe I’m completely off. I don’t know. I’m not saying every kid’s show that has a dancing orange is out to make selfish underachievers, nor do I think it’s wrong to treat ourselves every once in a while. I just fear that the lack of disciplinary education and Christ-centered discipleship is breeding the problems we see today. I wonder if the next generations will understand and experience self-control and the desire to be holy. Certainly I see the lack in myself…the world seems to be screaming out to me “it’s ok, andi. no one’s perfect. just be. just be who you are. go after your dreams. do what’s right for you. do what makes you happy. if you have peace with yourself, you’re ok.”

Yet, God tells me, “Be holy as I am holy. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. Follow Me.”

I don’t see the message in the Scriptures to “accept myself, believe in myself, live for myself”; I see “accept Him, believe in Him, live for Him”. Any thoughts????

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2 thoughts on ““happy to be me”

  1. George Reich

    Preach it, sister! There is a shift in the local and global churches for this very thing. It is a global search for Theology instead of the “Meology” that so many people and even churches are throwing at us today.

    I get a little weirded out when people start talking about believing in yourself. Sure I can tell myself that and tell someone else that to make the times a little easier. Just be confident! God loves it when we are proactive and take initiative, right? What gets me is when we elevate our confidence over our reliance.

    If you have not listened to John Piper lately take the time to do so. Josh’s blog or email earlier in the month was kind of a catalyst for me and reminded me of seeking God’s glory and not my own. Piper’s a Calvinist and he loves John Edwards but more than that, he loves the fact that God is in control and God gets the glory. I agree with you…the business and consumer worlds pit us up against the foundations of true theology.

    Is it any wonder that when left to our own mechanisms and cleverness we gravitate toward what pleases and glorifies us? We tend to make things and people meet our needs when we look to ourselves and see God as merely a self-help. No joke, God has become a helper in today’s theology. We can make the Bible say whatever we, and yes, we can create the God or god of our dreams until reality hits home and “when the toast is burnt and all the milk has turned and Captain Crunch is waving farewell…when the big one finds you, may this song remind you that they don’t serve breakfast in hell.” Heaven help our teetering and wandering hearts! Grace and peace!

  2. George Reich

    Sorry, I meant to say “we can make the Bible say whatever we want…” Thanks for letting me correct this! Love you sister!

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