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Tim Keller on the Dangers of "Self-Esteem Résumés"

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Editor's Note: This illustration could easily be adapted based on details from your own life.

When I was at school, my mother kept saying things like, "You know, honey, you ought to join the chess club." I would say, "Mom, I hate chess." "Yes, I know," she would say, "but it will look so good on your college application." She would try again. "Don't they feed the homeless and hungry downtown, every Saturday morning? Why don't you volunteer for that?" "Mom," I'd say, "I hate that kind of thing." I would get the same response, "I know, honey, but it will look so good on your college application." So, at school, I did all kinds of things that I had absolutely no interest in doing for themselves. I was simply putting together a résumé.

That is what our egos are doing all the time. Doing jobs we have no pleasure in, doing diets we take no pleasure in. Doing all kinds of things, not for the pleasure of doing them, but because we are trying to put together an impressive curriculum vitae. By comparing ourselves to other people and trying to make ourselves look better than others, we are …. trying to create a self-esteem résumé because we are desperate to fill our sense of inadequacy and emptiness. The ego is busy. So busy all the time.

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Arla

February 06, 2013  9:05am

Great illustration. I find myself facing the emptiness that comes with comparing & doing things I don't like just to "please" God and human, forgetting that God put desires in my heart that I ignore to my peril. Thanks!

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Wells

February 04, 2013  1:59pm

Being a care giver for ailing parents I dint want to but mom gone I'm glad I did. It's good to make others happy sometimes.

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Rick Kuhn

February 04, 2013  10:27am

No, we ought not do things just to look good, but we can often find that something we thought we wouldn't like (just like food), we find we not only enjoy, but were made for. The problem is we couldn't see it, just as Moses couldn't see what God saw in him.

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