Are You a Valuable or a Worthless Person?
How are you judging your worth? Do you base your value on how you live, what you have accomplished or how much money you make? Is your physical appearance a good indicator of your value?
It is important to base this judgement on the right criteria. So many are judging themselves on false principles.
Two Good Criteria
We have been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26)1 26 God said, “Let’s make man in our image, after our likeness..
Every person is of infinite worth and value because God has made them in His likeness. This truth is the absolute bedrock and foundation of how we should view ourselves and others.
Jesus has redeemed people (1 Peter 1:18, 19)2 18 knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things like silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish or spot, the blood of Christ,.
We value something that has cost us a lot. Jesus paid an immense price to redeem fallen mankind from sin. This amount was far greater than any price that could be paid by anyone else. God highly values people.
Neither of these criteria depends on our performance or appearance. This intrinsic value is because of what God has done. We have no grounds to judge ourselves worthless but every reason to see our great worth.
We live in a fallen world that is filled with lies. Each one of these lies is a deadly poison to our sense of God-given worth and value.
Lie: Some people are more valuable than others
Our culture is a culture of hierarchies, and it is in every area of life. From an early age, children are ranked in school according to intelligence and ability. In the working world, employees are judged according to ability and position in a company. Some are judged to be more beautiful than others. Constantly people are trying to promote themselves up rankings invented by others.
The problem is that true worth is not dependant on man-made criteria. God’s view is that the least is the greatest, and Jesus taught we need to take the lowest, not the best place (Luke 14:11)311 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted..
Lie: Worth comes from what we do
The basis for living is grace, not works. Grace is undeserved and unearned kindness, and God offers this to all.
We struggle to rely on God for this kindness and keep trying to earn God’s favour and others approval. It is human nature to try to earn grace. Some of the most oppressive work-based organisations I have experienced kept emphasising and teaching grace. They knew the concept but did not live in the good of it.
Paul tells the church in Galatia they are foolish for beginning with grace but ending up living trying to please God through works (Galatians 3:3)4 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh?.
Lie: My past failure defines and cheapens me
A great danger is that we view our worth because of our history. Many live under the crushing guilt of what they have done or not done. The whole point of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is that God no longer remembers our past failure. If He does not remember it, why should we?
The reality of anyone redeemed through Christ is that they are a new creature freed from their past and can begin to live in the new that God offers (2 Corinthians 5:17)5 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new..
Lie: How others judge me defines my worth
The world shapes how we view ourselves in multiple ways. It is foolish unwise to judge our worth based on the opinion of others. Advertising is designed to make us dissatisfied so that we will buy the products offered as a solution to our distress. Peoples opinions of us serve their needs, not ours. Peoples judgements are based on faulty information and bias.
The Bible tells us that trusting opinions or others in this way is a trap which we should avoid. We do this by basing our personal judgement on what God thinks (Proverbs 29:25)6 25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, but whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe..
Lie: Christian service and leadership give us worth.
Some leaders and Christian workers are placed on a pedestal by churches in an almost idolatrous way. People think that those who do great Christian works are better than those who don’t. Many aspire to Christian leadership because of the false idea that it will make them better Christians.
The Apostles did amazing miracles and service when they were with Jesus. He told them not to rejoice in the stuff they had done even though they had cast out demons. Instead, they were to rejoice that God had saved them and shown them mercy (Luke 10:20)7 20 Nevertheless, don’t rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”. Jesus told us not to glory in Christian service but to view it as our basic response to God’s goodness to us. We only do our duty when we serve (Luke 17:10)8 10 Even so you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants. We have done our duty.’.
Lie: Fame gives us worth
There are countless snowflakes in the colder parts of the earth. A few of these have been examined under microscopes. Those who have seen them in this way marvel at their beauty and uniqueness. Does this mean that all the other snowflakes are less than the few that have been highlighted?
Most of us will not find fame, but this does not change who God has made us. Every Christian is clothed in the righteousness of Christ and is accepted by God. Often those who find fame struggle to continue living in a balanced and humble way (Ephesians 1:6)9 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely gave us favor in the Beloved..
We are of great worth and value to God, who has both made and redeemed us. We have no basis for self-congratulation or pride because of this. Nor should we go around ranking people as better or worse than others. Such a viewpoint God says is wrong (James 2:9)10 9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors..
Let us live in the knowledge of our God-given worth. This healthy view of ourselves will help us to live in a wholesome and balanced way.