Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

Better than Worms

I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.
Psalm 139:14

I (JCD) had just finished addressing an audience on the importance of self-confidence in children when a woman approached me. My comments had contradicted her theology. “God wants me to think of myself as being no better than a worm,” she said, apparently referring to David’s analogy in Psalm 22:6  “I would like to respect myself, but God could not approve of that kind of pride, could He?”

It’s true that the Bible condemns the concept of human pride. God seems to hold a special disdain for this particular sin. In Proverbs 6:16–19  a “proud look” (kjv) is listed first among God’s seven most despised sins. But language is dynamic; the meaning of words shifts with time. I don’t believe that the Lord is displeased with a parent’s pride in a son who succeeds at school or daughter who wins a race. The biblical meaning of pride—better translated today as haughty—is the case of a person who is too pompous to bow humbly before God, confessing sins and submitting to a life of service to others.

Your children should never be taught that they are worthless. Jesus did not leave His throne in heaven to die for the “worms” of the world. He loves us as members of the family of God, calling us “brothers and sisters.” I call that cause for genuine self-esteem.

Before you say good night…

  • Do your kids understand the biblical meaning of pride? Do you?
  • Do any of your kids exhibit attitudes of haughtiness or worthlessness?
  • If so, what can you do to help them develop godly self-esteem?

Lord, we are so grateful to be brothers and sisters in Your holy family. Help us to avoid the kind of pride that so clearly offends You, and enable us to respect ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to You. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.

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About Dr. James Dobson

James Dobson is the host of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. He is also the founder of Focus on the Family, where he served for more than 30 years.

A licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child counselor, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California for 14 years. He invested 17 years on the attending staff of Children's Hospital Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics.

Earning a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, he's authored more than 30 books, including his most recent bestseller, Bringing Up Girls. Dr. Dobson has also been heavily involved in governmental activities related to the family. He was elected in 2008 to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley, the father of two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and the grandfather of Lincoln.

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