People define themselves by all kinds of different things. Their job, their hobbies, their likes and dislikes, even their relationships. And usually we associate these things with our overall value.
I have spoken with people (and known some personally) who have gone into depression because they truly believed that they had no value, because one or more of the things which I have listed above, were not present in their life.
And in a way, it’s natural – in this life we tend to gauge ourselves by our accomplishments and what we possess. When we don’t seem to have enough, or we have not met our own perceived goals, we tend to conclude that we have in some way “failed”.
Yet today, what I want to share with you is a different perspective on the entire thing. A different equation by which to reach a solution. One not based on what you have accomplished, but one based on what was accomplished for you… and what you possess right now, that is far greater than anything else in this world.
Now at first, this might seem a bit silly. I mean, some people when they hear this would probably say “aww, those people you talked to just need more self-esteem!”
Yet it’s not really as simplistic as that. The pathway to personal value is a never-ending treadmill if it is to be estimated by the things of this life. If your personal value and worth is measured by the temporal things of this world – which do not last and could theoretically be removed tomorrow… then true fulfillment and peace will always be fleeting.
And the real kicker is, that this idea that we have of judging our worth and value by these kinds of things, doesn’t even present the true picture! Because the real value of something is determined by whatever someone pays for it. And if that particular someone also happens to be the creator of the item in question, then the value is solidified all the more. This is the main point.
I’m not saying that any of those other things are wrong. I’m not saying that having a good job, fun hobbies, or strong relationships are bad – not at all. In-fact I fully believe that God as a loving Father wants you as His beloved child to have all of those good things.
What I am saying, is that those things are not what truly define you – nor are they what give you your worth and value. We tend to get so distracted and caught-up with peripheral things, and what I mean by that is things on the outside – things that are specifically of this world; and again I’m not saying that having things is wrong – but the danger comes in when we start to become absorbed by those things and we allow those things to define us and we derive our worth and value by those things. It’s a very subtle trap, and I call it “subtle”, specifically because it happens quite often without us being aware that it is happening.
Aspects of this kind of thinking have filtered into our speech, our expectations, and even our worries and fears! For example, I have spoken with a number of people, both male and female, who have expressed to me that because they are still single after a set period of time, they feel as though there is something wrong with them, and their life is somehow “not complete” – and I reminded them that it is Jesus alone who has made them complete, according to Colossians 2:10. And this wasn’t me splitting-hairs here, this is precisely the point…
When we begin using the presence (or in this case, the absence) of things to begin estimating our worth and value from a different standard than Jesus Christ Himself, then we are starting to compromise the truth of the Gospel of Christ and His finished work, in favor of something else – and it is something much lesser.
Now I used the example of marriage, but the same could be applied to anything that we value in this world really. I have also talked with people who devalue themselves because their career isn’t where they think it should be at this point in their life. Are you starting to see how it’s slightly different lyrics on the exact same song?
So then the question becomes: if we are not supposed to look to all of these things for our worth and value, what should we look at?
Well, what does your Creator, think of your worth and value? Take a look at Psalms 139:13-16, and David writes about the thoughts of God for His creation:
“For you have formed my inmost parts: you have covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.
My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously worked in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes did see my substance, while I was still not completed; and in your book all my parts were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
I love these verses, because they show the incredible craftsmanship and care that God has for His creation!
God did not just scramble you together with no thought… nor did He roll the dice and just say “oh well!”
No. The skill of the Master went into creating you, and God who is divine, never wastes any effort on something of no worth or value. Take a few moments and meditate on that fact.
Skip ahead in time, and we have Jesus Himself declaring the love and care that the Father has for us – and the value that we are to Him as well, in Matthew 6:25-33:
“Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than clothing?
Behold the birds of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one hour to his life?
And why take you thought for clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say to you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Why, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the fire, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.
But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”
Now we have studied these verses in detail previously. For the purpose of this study today, let us simply focus on the point that Jesus is making about our value.
Jesus talks about the birds, and about the flowers… noting that neither of them worry about their own care or well-being for the future, really. They don’t do all of the psychological and mental gymnastics that we do on a daily basis… yet God the Father still provides for and cares for them.
Then He poses a question that many people honestly have never considered (and some reject outright) are you not of more value than they are?
And the question that most people don’t consider is “More valuable to whom?”
You see, most people make the mistake of viewing these words of Jesus through their own personal lenses. And in our own sight, we often don’t think of ourselves as valuable, so sometimes we skip over these words that Jesus spoke, because they don’t make full sense to us when we are looking at them from the wrong perspective.
But remember, Jesus isn’t looking at you from your own perspective. He’s looking at you from the perspective of God… and He knows your true worth and value, and He’s trying to get you to see it also… hence the question that He asks.
Obviously you are very valuable to God the Father, since He is the perfect father who loves His children – which is why Jesus can make the point about not worrying.
I can literally go on-and-on about the many scriptures showing how God loves and cares for you, from the moment of creation throughout your life on this earth and into eternity. I would encourage you to also check out this study about your relationship with God, to see even more ways that He loves you, and your value to Him.
For now, let me end this study today by giving you this final thought: God is the one who formed you, He’s the one who gave you life, by breathing His own breath of His Spirit into you. It is by His power that your body continues to function, and your heart continues to beat, and your brain continues to think.
His love and care, literally holds you up, and this in itself testifies of your value to Him.