Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth

Al Mohler reports that "a team of researchers has taken a closer look at the idea that self-esteem is a crucial factor in personal happiness, achievement, and behavior. Their research conclusively destroys the self-esteem myth and demonstrates that the nation's obsession with self-esteem was never based on science in the first place."

The article, entitled "Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth, was published in the January 2005 issue of Scientific American. They explain that "Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, research shows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior."

Mohler explains the Christian alternative:

"The Christian worldview completely reverses this cycle. The Christian finds satisfaction, not in a sense of self-worth, but in knowing the one true and living God. Human beings are indeed made in God's image, and every single human life is thus worthy of respect and dignity. Nevertheless, the gospel makes clear that the Christian's identity is found in Christ--not in the self."

"As a matter of fact, this is one of the most transformative and liberating realities of the Christian faith. It's not about us--even as we are the recipients of God's grace and mercy."

"Scientific American has done us all a great service by exploding the self-esteem myth, and indicating just how superficial and baseless the claims of self-esteem advocates are now shown to be. Expect an energetic retort from the self-esteem industry. They won't go down without a fight."