Daughters of God

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Chapter 12—Self-respect

Loving Others, Loving Oneself

Many women struggle with feelings of self-worth and value in God's sight. As in other portions of this book, the passages used may not have been written specifically for or to women, but they are applicable to them in their search for an understanding of how God views them as His creation and how they should view themselves and others. DG 141.1

Developing Self-respect—If we wish to do good to souls, our success with these souls will be in proportion to their belief in our belief in, and appreciation of, them. Respect shown to the struggling human soul is the sure means through Christ Jesus of the restoration of the self-respect the man has lost. Our advancing ideas of what he may become are a help we cannot ourselves fully appreciate.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 280, 281 (1893). DG 141.2

We Should Respect Ourselves—The Lord has given every one of us a sense of self-respect, and this must not be opposed too abruptly. God wants us to respect ourselves. In our families and in the church, we too often seek to destroy self-respect. Do not do it. Do not do it in our schools. Do not do it in our offices. The Lord has said that every one of these institutions is to be educational in character. The students and workers will follow the example set by those who have charge over them. The teacher is to be a pattern to the learner. If he wants the youth to respect him, he must respect them.—The General Conference Bulletin, April 25, 1901. DG 141.3

Not Pleasing to God to Demerit Oneself—It is the privilege of everyone to so live that God will approve and bless him. You may be hourly in communion with Heaven; it is not the will of your heavenly Father that you should ever be under condemnation and darkness. It is not pleasing to God that you should demerit yourself. You should cultivate self-respect by living so that you will be approved by your own conscience, and before men and angels. It is not an evidence of true humility that you go with your head bowed down, and your heart filled with thoughts of self. It is your privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame and remorse. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” While we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, the Word of God does not condemn a proper self-respect. As sons and daughters of God, we should have a conscious dignity of character, in which pride and self-importance have no part.—The Review and Herald, March 27, 1888. DG 142.1

Counsel to One Who Had Lost Self-respect—Jesus loves you, and He has given me a message for you. His great heart of infinite tenderness yearns over you. He sends you the message that you may recover yourself from the snare of the enemy. You may regain your self-respect. You may stand where you regard yourself, not as a failure, but as a conqueror, in and through the uplifting influence of the Spirit of God. Take hold of the hand of Christ, and do not let it go.—Medical Ministry, 43 (1903). DG 142.2

Bitter Words Result in Loss of Self-respect—What harm is wrought in the family circle by the utterance of impatient words; for the impatient utterance of one leads another to retort in the same spirit and manner. Then come words of retaliation, words of self-justification, and it is by such words that a heavy, galling yoke is manufactured for your neck; for all these bitter words will come back in a baleful harvest to your soul. Those who indulge in such language will experience shame, loss of self-respect, loss of self-confidence, and will have bitter remorse and regret that they allowed themselves to lose self-control and speak in this way. How much better would it be if words of this character were never spoken! How much better to have the oil of grace in the heart, to be able to pass by all provocation, and bear all things with Christlike meekness and forbearance.—The Review and Herald, May 19, 1891. DG 142.3

Self-respect, Humility, and Efficiency in God's Work—In doing the work of God you will be placed in a variety of circumstances which will require self-possession and self-control, but which will qualify you to adapt yourself to circumstances and the peculiarities of the situation. Then you can act yourself unembarrassed. You should not place too low an estimate upon your ability to act your part in the various callings of practical life. Where you are aware of deficiencies, go to work at once to remedy those defects. Do not trust to others to supply your deficiencies, while you go on indifferently, as though it were a matter of course that your peculiar organization must ever remain so. Apply yourself earnestly to cure these defects, that you may be perfect in Christ Jesus, wanting in nothing.—Testimonies for the Church 3:505 (1885). DG 143.1

Respect and Love One Another—If we keep uppermost in our minds the unkind and unjust acts of others we shall find it impossible to love them as Christ has loved us; but if our thoughts dwell upon the wondrous love and pity of Christ for us, the same spirit will flow out to others. We should love and respect one another, notwithstanding the faults and imperfections that we cannot help seeing. Humility and self-distrust should be cultivated, and a patient tenderness with the faults of others. This will kill out all narrowing selfishness and make us largehearted and generous.—Steps to Christ, 121 (1892). DG 143.2

Christians Have a Positive Duty to Cultivate Respect for Themselves—It should be the fixed purpose of the youth to aim high in all their plans for their life-work. They should adopt for their government in all things the standard which God's Word presents. This is the Christian's positive duty, and it should be also his positive pleasure. Cultivate respect for yourself because you are Christ's purchased possession. Success in the formation of right habits, advancement in that which is noble and just, will give you an influence that all will appreciate and value. Live for something besides self. If your motives are pure and unselfish, if you are ever looking for work to do, if you are always on the alert to show kindly attentions and do courteous deeds, you are unconsciously building your own monument. This is the work God calls upon all children and youth to do. Do good, if you would be cherished in the memory of others. Live to be a blessing to all with whom you come in contact, wherever your lot may be cast. Let the children and youth awake to their opportunities. By kindness and love, by self-sacrificing deeds, let them write their names in the hearts of those with whom they associate.—The Youth's Instructor, February 7, 1901. DG 143.3

Duty of All to Respect Self—We must have a better and deeper teaching than man can give us. There must be a deep conviction in our own souls that forms and ceremonies are as nothing without Christ. He is the Alpha and Omega. Truth is the only panoply for the covering of any soul. Our convictions need daily to be reinforced by humble, sincere prayer and reading of the Word. While we each have an individuality, while we each should hold our convictions firmly, we must hold them as God's truth and in the strength which God imparts. If we do not, they will be wrung from our grasp. DG 144.1

We need to be self-reliant; it is the duty of all to respect self; but we are to remember that we are God's property, that we are bought with a price, body, soul, and spirit. We must guard the living machinery, and keep it in the very best condition, that we may glorify God. It is to be daily oiled by His grace, to run at His touch, without friction. To trust in ourselves, to become boastful as if we had created and redeemed ourselves, is to dishonor God. Human wisdom, aside from God, will prove itself to be foolishness, and will bring confusion and perplexity. We need to have on the whole armor of God. The holy influence of a Saviour's loving protection is our sure defense. There is but One who can prove a safeguard against the schemes of Satan.—1888 Materials 1626 (1896). DG 144.2

Respect Self, for You Are Bought With a Price—This feeling of guiltiness must be laid at the foot of the cross of Calvary. The sense of sinfulness has poisoned the springs of life and of true happiness. Now Jesus says, “Lay it all on Me; I will take your sins. I will give you peace. Banish no longer your self-respect, for I have bought you with the price of My own blood. You are Mine. Your weakened will I will strengthen; your remorse for sin I will remove.”—Manuscript Releases 9:305 (1896). DG 144.3