Secure in Your Self-Worth | April 21st, 2020
It is week five of sheltering in place, also known as “quarantining at home.” By now, many of us are feeling the effects of this coronavirus pandemic on our “self-worth.”
With everything shut down and on hold, so many people have no job to go to and a whole lot less money in their bank account. Stress is aging us by the minute. Keeping up our appearance has become somewhat of a battle with all of the exercise studios and beauty salons temporarily closed.
Perhaps that’s why, in the midst of this shake-up to life as we knew it, there seems to be so much posted on social media to help boost our ego, positivity, and motivation to keep going.
“You are Enough”
One of the posts I’ve seen more frequently than others lately is the one that says, “You are enough.” I even saw this sign a couple of months ago, created to remind me I was more than enough:
Well before this crisis, our self-worth has been tested on a daily basis. We are constantly made to feel like we could be doing better when compared to others or that we could have accomplished a whole lot more by now. The media is to blame as well, claiming we must have beauty, wealth, intelligence, and success to be somebody who really matters.
Every person on the planet needs to know that they matter. They need to feel valued and that they mean something to someone. So to see the words “You are enough” or “You are more than enough” feels comforting.
But is it true? Are we really enough?
Dead in Sins, Alive in Christ
We were made in the image of God as an expression of His glory, beautifully created by the Master Artist. We were knit together with so much love in our mother’s womb. God had a wonderful plan mapped out for our lives before we took our first breath.
When we came into the world, we were meant to live in perfect harmony with God. But our sin caused us to become distorted versions of ourselves with limitations, flaws, and weaknesses.
The Bible tells us that before we surrender to Him, we are dead in our sins. Is there any worth in something that is dead? None at all.
Jesus took our sin upon Himself on the cross, not because we were worthy in any way, but because there was no possible way we ourselves could become worthy or alive on our own. We are far from “enough.”
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
When we give our lives to Jesus, his grace transforms us from lifeless to fully alive as a new creation in Christ who will live for eternity with Him!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
He made us righteous – completely blameless in His sight, giving us immeasurable worth because of the price He paid through His sacrifice on the cross. When God instills His worth in us, it outweighs any sense of self-worth we could try to instill in ourselves no matter how successful, wealthy, beautiful, or intelligent we are. We will never be enough on our own. He is the reason for any and all of our self-worth. He is more than enough for us!
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 a serious danger we face when replacing a biblical view of our self-worth with a worldly view.
For many of us, physical appearance becomes the focus. We’re obsessed with looking younger and younger. Excessive time, money, and energy are spent on becoming more attractive in the world’s eyes just so we can feel like we have self-worth.
According to a report from the retail analytics firm Edited, the beauty industry was valued at $532 billion last year and is on a rapid upward trajectory.
When there is something that is loved, desired, and enjoyed more than God, it becomes idolatry. Being satisfied by anything we treasure more than Him starts in the heart. These desires only get stronger the more we indulge in them.
The Apostle Paul warned the church at Corinth, a city that was full of idols, by saying:
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14
You may think of idolatry as worship of a statue or image as practiced back in Bible times. Today, we have modern idolatry which looks a little different but is the same idea. Instead of bowing before a carved object, we look for other things to “worship” – to give all of our efforts and energy to boost our self-worth, taking the place of God in our lives.
Appearance is just one of many. Other examples of things we use to try to make us feel worthy are success, money, pleasure, beauty, luxury items, and relationships. When used for the purpose of feeling worthy, the one thing they all have in common is the building up of one’s self. So the basis of modern idolatry is actually the worship of self.
Attempting to create our self-worth on our own is prideful. It is implying that we think we can do a better job than God or that what He has provided for our self-worth is not enough.
We will never find fulfillment seeking to build up our self-worth on our own. All of the meaningless things for which we strive and the world’s admiration of them will be of no use to us after we die because these are all things that have no eternal value.
Jesus knew we would struggle with idolatry to fill a void and to try to make ourselves feel better inside but He also knew these things would only lead to emptiness and self-worth that would never measure up to the world’s standards no matter how hard we try.
Only God deserves our deepest affections and admiration. He alone gives us our true self-worth that completely satisfies. When you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, there is no room in your heart for idolatry. It’s no wonder He made loving Him the first and greatest commandment!
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38
Adopted with Unconditional Love
Years ago, I had a dear friend who could not have any children of her own. Because of this heartache, she and her husband made the decision to adopt two little girls from two separate families. The moment they were adopted as their own, they were given a new last name – the same name as their adoptive parents. They belonged to them.
One of the girls was quite a handful and had some behavioral issues that made parenting quite difficult, to say the least. The other was much more easy-going and very compliant – a parent’s dream child! But the amount of love they had for each of their daughters was equal. There was nothing either of them could do or not do to make their parents love them less.
When you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, He adopts you as His child. And He loves you just how you are. There is nothing you could do or not do to make Him love you less. Yes, you are a sinner and maybe you have even done some horrible, unspeakable things in your life that seem unforgivable, yet He still sees you as righteous and without fault. Isn’t that incredible?
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:4-5a
God adopts us because He wants to know us intimately like family. When you are His child, you belong to Him. He sees right past all of your flaws and He loves you unconditionally.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 1 John 3:1
In our society, the value of something is often determined by the maximum amount someone will pay for it.
Nine years ago, my precious little Pomeranian, Emma, was auctioned off with several other Poms after the filthy, run-down puppy mill where she lived had been shut down. A Pomeranian rescue group from Dallas happened to be there along with other puppy mill breeders.
When it was time for Emma to be sold, the price for her kept rising. Although she was underweight, matted, and dirty from living in a cage for most of her life, her beauty was still very noticeable.
It then became a competition between the rescuers getting her out of there into a loving home and the breeders taking her with them to use her to birth more puppies, possibly going back into the exact same kind of horrific living conditions. This rescue group was determined to save her.
Their determination paid off, bidding the highest amount anyone at the auction was willing to pay. This allowed them to take Emma home with them that day, along with 21 other very privileged Poms. Once she was ready for adoption, I paid a price for her and she belonged to me from that day on.
In order for you to be adopted, Jesus paid the very highest price for you. He shed His own blood, giving His life for you even though you were damaged and dirty. Why? Because, as your Creator, He could look right past all of the filth of your sin and shame and see your beauty. He did not want you to be stuck in hopelessness, dead in your sins. He wanted you to have freedom through Him and a new life! Because of Jesus, you have immeasurable value.
His Power in Our Weakness
When we can admit in this self-saturated age that we are not enough on our own, His grace covers our limitations, flaws, and weaknesses so that His power can work through us to bring Him glory. This is especially evident when we go through hardships and difficulties like we are facing during this unpredictable time in our world today.
God gave the Apostle Paul plenty to keep him humble throughout his life so he would know he was never enough on his own without God:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
When we are weak in ourselves, we become strong in God’s grace which keeps us relying on Him for our strength. It is His power that is made perfect in our weakness. God’s design is to allow others to see His power in us when He gives us the strength to endure and to even express joy during difficult times.
There is no need to ever base your self-worth on what other people tell you about yourself. When you receive God’s love and grace, you will find your true self-worth in Him.
No matter how hard you strive, you can never be “enough” on your own. But because Jesus paid the highest price for you to adopt you as His own and loves you unconditionally despite your limitations, flaws, and weaknesses, your self-worth is secure. There is nothing more valuable than that.
You can rest in Him knowing He is more than enough.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Ask God to reveal the idols which may have crept into your heart, elevated above Him. Then, ask Him to transform you to desire to place Him above all else.
Sparkler #2: Action
Give your pride to God and admit you are not enough on your own. Rely on Him for your strength through your weaknesses.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
When someone comes to you seeking a boost in their self-worth, point them to Jesus who will give them immeasurable self-worth because of the ultimate price He paid for them with His life.
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