Many of us struggle with our self-worth. If it isn’t a daily battle for us it is at least a reoccurring one. It was a fight that I often lost, but even when I did “win” it was only ever a temporary victory. If I felt good about myself one day, I was sure to feel the opposite way soon enough. Trying not to think about it or distracting myself with activity was often my way to keep from sinking down into that pit, but that only works for a time and is merely masking the problem.
The main problem is how we determine our worth. We view our worth as if it were a diversified investment portfolio. We tie it to different aspects of our lives the same way we might buy stocks in different companies. We distribute our worth to the various parts of our lives and then, just like the stock market fluctuates and changes the value of the shares we might hold, these areas of our lives perform differently and change the way we perceive our value. We determine our worth from a combination of job performance, social ability, physical beauty, relationships, financial success, etc. We view our social media to see which way our public persona is trending. We check our bank account to see if we are making it anywhere. We think about our careers and whether they give us meaning or are headed in the right direction. We look in the mirror and try to figure out how to look our best. We contemplate our relationships and evaluate how much happiness they bring us or we give others. We have attached our worth to all of these different things and as they change, so does the way we perceive ourselves.
Even as Christians our self-worth is inconsistent because God is only one of the many “stocks” we invest in. We know that we should look to Him to determine or worth, but we rely on Sunday service and a few other sporadic events throughout the week to combat the flood of information we receive every day from the world. Because none of these areas outside of God are meant to define us, we often battle against looking down on ourselves.
Finding Your Worth
The most important lesson that I have learned in my own struggle is that instead of trying to determine our own self-worth, what we must do is go to the Lord and let Him tell us what we are worth. Our absolute best days defined by the measurements the world uses don’t hold a candle to what God says about us in His Word. I don’t have the time or space to list all of the wonderful truths contained in scripture about who we are in Christ and how much we are worth, but here are a few:
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32
By giving His life for us, Christ gave us more worth than we can understand. We are made children of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17). If the saying “It’s worth whatever someone will pay for it” holds any truth, then in Christ nothing on this earth has more worth than us. We were bought with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19).
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
There is no job, status, amount of money, or relationship that can compare to being “the righteousness of God.”
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Paul is writing to the Corinthian church and in essence he says that not many of them would have been worth very much in the eyes of the world. If they had defined themselves by the world’s standards, they would have been pretty down on themselves. However, they were chosen by God, they were picked to be in Christ Jesus, to have his “righteousness, holiness and redemption.” While most people boast in their accomplishments, we boast in the accomplishments of the Lord and no one comes close to Him.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
When we allow God to define who we are and what we are worth, it doesn’t fluctuate like the stock market. God does not change nor does our worth in His eyes change. When we find ourselves feeling worthless or going from highs to lows, that is a good indicator that we are not allowing God to be the one that tells us how much we are worth. We are placing our value in something outside of Him and His Word. When we realize this, our first step should be to go to the scripture and spend time with the Lord, allowing Him to tell us who we are and what we are worth, which is more than we can imagine.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13