Many of us grew up with that familiar saying often ringing in our ears; self-praise is no praise. So in response we learned to belittle ourselves and deny our true worth. Our gifts and talents we often hid or failed to develop in case people thought we had got too big for our boots. We faithfully recited the Creed, I believe in God, but failed miserably to believe in ourselves. We deflected compliments even though we desperately needed them. We thought that having low self-esteem was a form of virtue. Yet our playing small served little purpose and left us with a sense of living a life that was so much less than the one we were called to live. To affirm our greatness as Children of God is to honour our creator, to deny it amounts to dishonor. It is not pride to believe in our dignity, to affirm our worth or to appreciate our gifts. To give ourselves credit for something is to give thanks to God for making it possible. There is a wonderful few verses from the Book of Sirach that is well worth taking to heart: My Child, with humility, have self-esteem. Prize yourself as you deserve. Who can forgive the one who refuses to forgive himself, and who can lift up the person who puts himself down?
By Fr Jim Cogley