Perspective on Self-Esteem

John Piper tells us some interesting things that man has learned in recent years about the dimensions of space. He says, “The space telescope sends back infrared images of faint galaxies perhaps twelve billion light-years away”—that’s twelve billion times six trillion miles. Absolutely mind-boggling, isn’t it!

This raises the question, then: “Why did God ‘waste’ so much space on a universe to house a speck of humanity that is earth?” The only answer is found in Psalms 19: “The heavens declare the glory of God” (verse 1). He created the vastness to give us some idea of the vastness of his glory.

Piper continues, “The untracked, unimaginable stretches of the created universe are a parable about the inexhaustible ‘riches of his glory’ (Romans 9:23). The physical eye is meant to say to the spiritual eye, “Not this, but the Maker of this, is the Desire of your soul.”[i] In other words, the created world is meant to draw us to the Creator—God Himself.

“We are all starved for the glory of God, not self,” writes Piper. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self. Indeed, what could be more ludicrous in a vast and glorious universe like this than a human being, on the speck called earth, standing in front of a mirror trying to find significance in his own self-image?”[ii]

Yes, in comparison with the vastness of space, most of us live pretty self-centered lives. What difference does it make what I think about myself matter in comparison with what I think about God? Most of us would do better spending less time looking in the mirror and more time considering the greatness of our God. I think it would be a tremendous encouragement—and change our entire perspective on life.


How is God calling you to Him today?