From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
There is nothing wrong with being esteemed by others. We all enjoy that feeling and validation. The prayer is for deliverance of the desire to seek out such esteem as a validation of one’s worth and identity. Even the desire for self esteem can become a pursuit that distracts one from trusting in God. We live in a society that clamors for esteem, particularly self esteem. We risk making idols of ourselves.
In one episode of “The Simpsons” Bart says grace before the family meal. His prayer is, “Thanks for nothing God, because we earned it all ourselves.” The allure of celebrity is another example of esteem gone haywire. People practically worship celebrities, and the desire to be a celebrity is a common one. The show “American Idol” is popular. A show called, “American Humility” would likely not do so well.
It is not the esteem of others or self that gives us our worth and value. It is God. Every success, every breath and every heartbeat is possible only because of God. If others esteem us, we can hope it is because we have exhibited qualities that in some way point to the beauty of God, and in that we can rejoice. But we must not desire esteem for its own sake. We must do our best with our gifts and talents so that others can see God, not so that we can be esteemed by others or even by ourselves. Humility is not easy, but it is a source of true joy. We need God’s grace. We can’t do it under our own power.