Several months ago, I first saw a Cigna commercial entitled “Go You. Believe in Yourself. We do.” The blatant humanistic self-esteem philosophy laced throughout this ad was more than enough to drive me to switch channels. But what ended up being much more appalling was the use of the familiar Christian song: “This Little Light of Mine” as background music to make their point. If you haven’t seen this commercial, take a moment to watch it below.
Harry Dixon Loes (1895-1965) certainly didn’t have this usage of his famous song in mind when he wrote it around 1920. According to Wikipedia, Loes studied at Moody Bible Institute and the American Conservatory of Music, was a musical composer and teacher who wrote, and co-wrote, several other gospel songs. Not surprisingly, Cigna conveniently left out most of the verses of his song, including verse 3: “Jesus gave me the light. I’m gonna let is shine…” Loes knew that there is no self-generated light/goodness that emanates from within our children; this is light that comes from the Light of the World, Jesus Christ!
Instead of teaching our children to believe in themselves and embrace some mythical light inside of themselves, we need to point them to the truth of God’s Word. Consider these words from the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth:
5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (II Corinthians 4:5-6)
There is amazing gospel truth in these two short verses. Let’s just focus on three essential contrasts we see here:
Self-esteem philosophy teaches us and our children to “proclaim ourselves” to the world. God’s Word teaches us to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.
Self-esteem philosophy ends up training children to serve themselves. God’s Word trains us to be servants of the living Christ.
Self-esteem philosophy believes that we all have our own light that we can shine to the world. God’s Word instructs us that is is the light of Christ that shines in our hearts and then shines out to the world.
The Cigna commercial ends with this line: “Tell us how being true to yourself keeps you healthy.” Yes, I know they are just trying to sell some health insurance. But how much better it is when we teach our children about real health. The only way to keep ourselves spiritually healthy is to be true to Jesus! He gives us eternal, gospel, life-giving Light to shine out to the world which lives in darkness. Instead of “Go You,” how about: Go Jesus! Go Gospel!