When we see our friends with mental health problems living with low self-esteem, some of us might think it’s mental illness that makes them that way. That might be true, but chances are just as likely that it’s because of the way the world looks down on them.

Your friends’ immediate community, the Church, may have treated them well, but it’s no secret what people “out there” think about them or say about them. As a result, they don’t feel good about themselves. They would have trouble having the confidence they need to lead a meaningful life. As a friend, you can encourage those with low self-esteem develop a life that’s full and satisfying. The stories about Jesus’ life on earth will help you do that.

Take your friends to the Bible and show them how Jesus feels about them:
Jesus is God’s Son, sent to earth to show us what God is like. And that he did. He showed us the greatest love possible. 1 John 3:1 says, See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

So, you can remind your friend, we are of great value to God. Every one of us.

One story I would recommend sharing is the one about the Samaritan woman Jesus met at a well.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

John 4:7-9

Samaritans were half-Jew, half-Gentile. They were despised by the Jews who did not normally have dealings with them. And so, it was a surprise for the woman to be talked to by Jesus, a Jew. Not only that, as a woman she was considered a second-class citizen and not normally talked to by men.

If we were like the Samaritan woman, we might be looked down on by many. But Jesus would not do so. There was, and is, only love and acceptance in him. He sees us as human beings, equal to other human beings. If we were to do the same for each other, how much kinder a world this would be for those who are struggling!

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your spiritual fountain of living water. Although you might wish yourself to be carried to Jacob’s well to be with him, that kind of wishful thinking isn’t necessary at all.

Open your heart to Jesus and he will stay close to you right where you are.

The whole story can be read in John 4.


This has been Part 2 of the series In the name of Jesus. Go to Part 3, Brothers and Sisters All.