In our world view, the price paid for an object establishes its value, so where do we get our worth and value? Do we look for it from other people, friends, our jobs or our status? If we do, we may be allowing others to play on our insecurities. We need to realize we don’t need other people’s approval because we have Almighty God’s approval. Our worth and value come from God’s gift, His love and His word. By paying our debt with the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ, God has openly established our worth as being priceless. When it came to our purchase price, God was more concerned about what He redeemed than what He spent. God created each of us as a unique treasure and there are numerous verses that declare this truth. Psalm 139:14 says that, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Let this be the standard of our self-worth. Forget the world’s view and hold onto God’s view. His is the only one that matters. We can also find our worth in God’s love for us. Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is God’s promise. He will never stop loving us or being our best friend. Hebrews 13:5 says that God will never leave us. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Proverbs 18:24 says, “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Let God’s extreme love and devotion for us be the scale that measures our self-worth.
We must take charge of our own life and for me this is sometimes difficult because I am constantly trying to make everyone happy and people can make us feel so guilty when things aren’t done exactly their way, but ultimately, each of us controls our own destiny and life is too short living it trying to make everyone around us happy. It is much better to have God’s blessing than man’s blessing and a true friend will stand behind you even if they don’t agree with you. Over the years, I have learned if people don’t support you, then they may be trying to control and manipulate you, so whatever you do, don’t let people steal your joy. God affirms us by loving us unconditionally, God made us, and all his works are wonderful. God does not focus on our earthy bodies, which are temporal and quickly wither and fade, but on our souls, which are eternal. Our fear of failure, lack of confidence, and procrastination are all by-products of low self-worth that can keep us from accomplishing God’s will in our lives, so always remember that our God is a God who takes sides; He is the God of the oppressed and He enters into our daily suffering and trials to set things right. He doesn’t just declare us righteous; He makes us righteous. We cannot be salt and light in this world if we get our value and worth from some other source, like our works, title, degrees, or status; it must come from God.
There are two kinds of enlightenment: the good kind that comes from seeking God and the terrible kind that comes from sinning against God and feeling the full consequences. As humans, we fool ourselves into thinking our ways and thoughts are as good as God’s. Not knowing this leads to our oppression and knowing this leads to our salvation because only in our service to God can service without bondage be found; with God, service is freedom. I love the book of Daniel and in chapter 5 there is a story where God writes on the wall an unreadable message to King Belshazzar. He calls for Daniel to interpret God’s message. Daniel translates, “You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone…. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways…You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Measuring our worth, perhaps only in subtle ways by the influence and power we have; our prestige or reputations; the acceptance and recognition we enjoy; our resources and wealth; our talents; our contributions; and even our appearance will leave us playing an unending and ultimately losing game.
When this twisted vision of worth takes root it will reap havoc not only in our own lives, but in our ministry. When we begin to base our own value on false measures, we begin viewing others’ worth based upon their abilities, contributions and performance. This thinking is destructive to the church as a whole, in that it wrongly devalues each of us. As Christ followers, when we enter the world’s game of worth we fail to see the immeasurable worth and value we hold as God’s adopted children. Basing worth on false measures leaves us seeking out acceptance of those we encounter, rather than accepting our true worth as God’s children. Anytime we find ourselves looking for self-worth, we need to do some soul searching. We need to ask ourselves in what ways we may feel lacking. After we strip away any false measures, we need to truthfully consider, what remains? What we do with the answer reveals where our hearts are when it comes to valuing ourselves and others.