The child who is patted on the back for doing a lesson well, the woman whose beauty is praised by her lover, the saved soul to whom Christ says, “well done”, is pleased and ought to be. For here the pleasure lies not in what you are but in the fact that you have pleased someone you wanted (and rightly wanted) to please. The trouble begins when you pass from thinking, “I have pleased him; all is well,” to thinking, “what a fine person I must be to have done it.” – C.S. Lewis , Mere Christianity.
A lot of times the reality and truth of scripture is trumped down by the erroneous perspective of simple everyday topics like esteem and worth. (Self)Worth in society is associated with feelings of importance, value, belonging and identity. (Self) esteem is perceived as the way we feel about ourselves externally; how we look, how we act and the way we are perceived. Self is in brackets because I don’t exclusively agree with the concept of self worth and self esteem that the world offers. For a period in my life I did not think even for a moment that God was concerned about issues like esteem, or my physical flaws(the ones I thought I had). I did not think he cared whether I was having a bad hair day. Or that I did not feel pretty enough. I largely felt I needed to work things out on my own. Find self help books and blogs about how to feel great about yourself. Boy, was I ever wrong.
We are born into a society that is obsessed about itself so the concepts that it gives birth to are largely oriented on ‘self’. So one of the things that always pops up is positive thinking. Positive thinking is widely talked about in topics ranging from health to material success Am sure there is a book somewhere with a heading like, “7 steps to positive thinking”. A solution that is dished out to people with a case of low self esteem is positive thinking.Am not saying that it is wrong to think positively about self, far from it but is that where you draw your sense of worth from? This begs the question where do you draw your sense of worth from? No, like really, think about it. What makes you feel valuable or important? I will give you a couple of things to review. Academic brilliance? Talent? People’s approval? Accomplishments? Jesus?
My worth largely came from accomplishments, intelligence and my capabilities. Accomplishing a task made me feel so important especially if the task gained me recognition. Being able to create amazing works of art and just being creative threw me off the planet. I was seriously sky rocketing into Pluto by those facts. I did not realize I based my identity and sense of worth into those things until God pointed it out to me and after thinking about it and engaging in discussions with friends this is what stuck in my heart.
When we peg our worth and value system on our thoughts of self, our accomplishments and even on our God given talents what happens when our thoughts are no longer affirmative? What happens when we can no longer perform tasks as effectively or excellently? What happens when we acquire ‘physical flaws’? Does that mean that we are no longer valuable? Absolutely not. Yet we have bought into the lie that my ‘self’ is based on those good thoughts/ feelings. Our value system crumbles once we change our minds about ourselves. However if we are deeply assured and we know without a shadow of doubt that we are of great worth no matter what we do or cannot do, what we think and how we feel, our value system remains intact hence my definition of worth is deeply knowing. What are we deeply knowing? Who we are in Christ.
“can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son f her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before me.”-NKJV
JESUS AT THE CENTER
Knowing who we are in Christ in context to worth is allowing Christ to be the center of our worth. Allowing him to inform our value system. Considering His opinion as the beginning and end. Learning what He has to say about us.
Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life.-NKJV
How precious also are your thoughts to me, o God! How great is the sum of them!-NKJV
1 peter 2:9
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.-NKJV
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.-NKJV
God chose that we will stand blameless a fore Him by His own grace and mercy. Jeremiah 31:3 says His love for us is eternal and in Isiah he affirms us by saying our names are INSCRIBED on the palms of His hands. We still don’t get it so he says he will give men in exchange for us and uses David to emphasize that His thoughts towards us are precious. Ultimately, so we don’t have to struggle He sends His son as the perfect sacrifice and He becomes our model, perfection and sufficiency
Self image/esteem advocates say find yourself but God in His word says deny yourself ( Matthew 16:24-26). Self image/esteem advocates advice that you should have self confidence but God steps in and offers another way. Putting our confidence in Him ( Philippians 4:13). The very same advocates may advice society to do what they want to and to put yourself first but My Bible tells me to walk in the Spirit ( Galatians 5:16) and put others first ( Philippians 2:1-4)
So No, by ourselves we are not good enough, capable enough or the least bit sufficient. But we have a high priest and Savior who is our sufficiency. In Him we are perfect. Sufficient. Good. Worthy. Our value system remains intact when we have a solid cornerstone, when we root our worth in Christ. For in Him we are forever worthy. Important. Valuable. In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
Self worth: Deeply knowing we are valuable because of who we are in Christ.
“are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
What I see more than God’s value for me in that verse is that He cares. He took time to count the numbers of hair on my head. This out rightly shows me that My God deeply cares about my day and how it went. He cares about my bad hair days and that your new born baby has a rash. He cares about those petty things that happen to you during the day. God is not some mean grumpy grandfather rocking on His chair looking down at your every move ready to shout out corrections. He is the author of love, with gentle eyes and this huge hands you perfectly fit into. He is the author of love, with a deep desire for His child to prosper. He is the author of love with a default for goodness. He is the author of love, who never slumbers but watches you while you sleep. He is that parent obsessed by His child so Hello, my name is Child of the one true King; His Beloved