I'm reading lots of history these days and came across this statement from a book called The Congregational Churches by Frederick L. Fagley, published in 1925:
"We long to be saved from meanness and from narrowness, to usefulness and character. We are under no illusion that this can be done for us by anyone else; that anyone, either God or man can buy it for us, or work it out for us and present us with it... Character is not a gift, but an attainment."
Of course, the text goes on to say of the Congregationalists, "The world has never known an emigration of people made up of men and women of such uniformly high character, such purity of motives and such resoluteness of determination."
Self-esteem doesn't seem to be a problem!