In past decades I have noticed an emphasis in many cultures that seems to have shifted to values that lean heavily upon “Self-Worth” and “Worth”. These appear to depend upon characteristics that are temporal. To gain either, one needs personal strength, achievements and character traits that are shaped by outer factors; things that we respond to from an outer environment in the world or from the circumstances in our lives.
I need to bask in the love of God. That is what brings joy to my heart and my life.
Going back to those values, again and again, is like a life-skill, an art form.
Finding Worth from being loved by God means that your heart and mind are shaped by the direct imprint of God’s Truth.
The environment that forms your nature is eternal Truth. Your heart listens to the words, promises, and love of God and is nourished as His Child. From that relationship, you develop a sense of worth that is defined by your eternal Nature as his son or daughter.
The self that is Worthy is the one that is born in His Love for you and awake to His Truth.
From there, you awaken to a new understanding of Self-Value, of Self-Worth. We are worth what we respect. We are worth what we look up to. In a way, we draw to ourselves what we admire. When that is only things or character traits, we are setting a ‘low expectation’ and actually allowing ourselves to deserve less than we are.
Self-Worth is defined (according to the dictionary) today as a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect. In psychological terms, it can go to greater depths. I agree that we each need healthy Self-Esteem. It is important to not confuse esteem with Christian humility. A humble person does not undervalue himself. True Self Value is equal to being filled with the Love of God in Christianity.
Wordly-worth is defined as concerned with material things or matters that are immediate. Both kinds of worth seek approval and respect from others, from ‘horizontal’ sources.
When we seek Respect, we are really seeking a form of love.
We are asking that others fill us up. We ‘need’ something from them or from the outer world that is lacking from within us. It is a thirst that we have that longs to be filled. We long for love, for belonging, for security, for the reward of feeling respected as a person. Then we feel Worthy. But that cup is never really filled because this world can never fill it up.
The great markers of self-respect and self-worth, even by the standards of ‘this world’ are still filled by God.
We want to be respected for good reasons. Sometimes, our hearts feel de-valued because of loss in this life. Other times it can be because of trauma or pain. It is a very tough path. It is a difficult journey for many.
‘This world’ can be challenging.
- Some experience loss of jobs, finances, opportunities (life is filled with unexpected change).
- Some experience loss of youth, health, physical ability (we all will).
- Some experience loss because of their environment, culture or nation- it is attached to a group experience. (think about our neighbors, your international neighbors).
- Some experience loss in relationships, family, and friendships. (think about your friends).
- Some have lost loved ones. (have you? I have)
Loss shakes us. It causes us to want to hold on to “things” and understandably find solid ground in this world that we feel that we can rely upon. We have all done that.
But the only True Ground that we can rely upon is God. The only real foundation for our hearts is his love. When we learn to seek him and find our Solid Worth in him, then we are getting to the Truth. We fill ourselves with him. We can rely upon God.
Jeremiah 31:3 – I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Job 11:18 – You will feel safe because there is hope.
Respect and Worth really can only come from God. The Love of God is the source of all Worth, all Value.
Here are some scriptures on our worth to God.
Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
Matthew 10:29-31 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Isaiah 43:4 – Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
When we see ourselves as His, and as belonging to God our hearts are filled with the love that he has for us. He defines our true value. The values of God shift our heart and perspectives in a profound way.
It isn’t easy to turn from the values of this world and turn towards the values of God. Our hearts resist and so do our minds. Everything in our worlds is structured to support living to continue on as we are. We don’t want to change. In my own experience, there are some great motivators though.
We are faced with trials and challenges that suggest that we need to change.
- Life experience begins to teach us that it is time to change.
- Sometimes because of illness or pain, we have no choice but to change.
- We wait until the end of a cycle, I call it ‘end times’, then we are forced to change!
- We are fortunate and are part of a team that is supporting change and mentors help us.
- Your heart is inspired to change, infused by God’s Spirit.
- As a Child of God, you are walking forward in his Love, trusting Change!
- Resist. Resist. Then by surprise, change comes anyway.
The common denominator is that we have no control. We, our mortal selves- value Control.
Do we have to give up mortal heart values so that we can gain Godly Value?
I have noticed that we do. You cannot fill a full cup. When we seek to fill our hearts with God’s love and become new, we need to let go of what is no longer true about ourselves. There are values that we need to see as belonging to an old version of ourselves, the part that holds on to “Self Worth” and a temporal “Worldly-Worth”.
Our mortal values to look at might be:
- Needing to be in control of what life looks like. We try to control relationships too. We have a core need to be loved.
- Gaining and acquiring possessions for the sake of security, as a source of belonging. We desire to belong, it is a core need: belonging.
- Achievements and ambition as a source of identity. We have a core need for identity.
- Relationships as a source of fulfillment and self-love. Core need: relationship.
- Money as a means to self-worth, value, and security. We have a core need to feel secure. Core need: security.
- Appearance as identity. Core need: identity.
- Personality as identity. Core need: identity.
Core Needs: Love, Relationship, Belonging, Identity and Security.
The way that God values us is based upon our eternal nature. When he sees us he gazes at our hearts, he sees what is real in us. It is true that he does see all of the ‘stuff’ even the circumstances that we are going through in the ‘right now’. I am so grateful for that. So many prayers include an asking that he look at those things and help with that. God sees it all! He sees the small and the large. But when he gazes upon the details he sees them with an Eternal Perspective.
God sees the now with an Eternal Perspective. What is Valuable is what is Good and True.
I love that! God fills all of our core needs with his own Goodness.
1. He knows our True Identity.
2. He gives us a True Relationship with Himself.
3. From this, we are given True Belonging.
4. He secures me as His Own. I rest in The Family of God.
5. He offers us True Love with unending mercy that fills us.
I can rest with that. Beyond that, I can pray for the wisdom by the power of his Spirit that he guides me to walk and make good decisions. I desire that God be in control, not me. The Eternal Perspective comes from God and from the Truth of His Promises.
God is the most Worthy of all. When we see him, we see what is True.
Revelation 5:12 – Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Good and True is what is Valuable. I want to Bask in that! Basking in the love of God is resting in what is Good and True.
I want my heart and mind to be soaked in everything that is good and true!
Psalm 100:3 – Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 139:13-14 – For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
We can be encouraged that God is there with us. He sees our hearts and walks with us on our journey through this life. Whatever the present circumstances are, we are, not any of us- alone. There is a loving God that can see our hearts and that desires to pour love and hope into this very present moment.
We can be filled with his Spirit and by the presence of his Son, Jesus Christ. We are his sons and daughters. That is our Value, our great fulfillment. Worthiness in that is a gift to us from him. When we remember that, we are new, filled in and with hope and healing because it is his promise to us and his promises are True.
Let’s Bask in the Love of God for each of us. He is Worthy. He teaches us what is Truly Worthy in life, in us and in this world and the next. He fills all of our needs.
© 2019 Linda Willows