Yesterday we explored three basic lies that many have convinced themselves are important in order have a sense of self-worth. (See Pt. 1 Link Here)
(RECAP) These basic lies are –
#1 Self-worth is all about what you do (Employment/Career).
#2 Self-worth is all about how others see you (the People pleaser trap)
#3 Self-worth is all about being “happy” all the time.
Now onto the “good” stuff – Discovering true self-worth.
You can’t buy self-worth…at least not in the long term.
You can’t work capture self-worth by attaining your “dream job” either.
These things are temporary.
Our Lives Are Like Vapor:
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)
Understand how temporal this all is.
I don’t mean to sound all “doom and gloom”, but this life is brief…we can make a difference in how we live by recognizing this one. small. truth.
We. Are. Like. Vapor. So…what are we going to do with this “vapor” of ours?
#1 Our true Self-Worth is found not in who we are but Whose we are!
“And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” -2 Corinthians 6:18
Beyond anything that we can “do” in this world, the most vital argument for finding our true self-worth is tied up with Whose we really are. Places of employment and careers are great things but they shouldn’t be the primary definer of who we really are. From the very onset of creation God longed to fellowship with us. He has made a way for this to happen even when we distorted our true identities with sin. In a very real sense realizing Whose we are leads us to find our true self-worth in life. This doesn’t mean that nothing else matters now in life, it just means that we re-align our perspectives in life allowing for this primal and vital identity to take first priority in our being, thereby releasing false images of self-worth while reclaiming this ancient, yet eternal truth – We are God’s creation, and we are called sons and daughters.
In moments when we feel the sting of rejection by others around us, let us remember that despite all of these things we are His -both first, last and everything in between.
#2 Our true Self-Worth is found not in our identity but in Christ’s!
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” -2 Corinthians 5:17
I hope you get the sense that all three of these “self-worth declarations” are interconnected.
Once we can come to terms with the notion that we are children of God, we too must understand that our self-worth isn’t tied up in the old life prior to conversion. Since Christ has conquered sin and death, we too can share in this eternal redemption story! If we are Christ-followers, we too recognize that the old lives we used to live prior to our salvation story no longer dictate where our self-worth comes from. Before this we followed the ingrained patterns, we indulged in selfish gain, we strive to climb the corporate ladder because that’s where true success and self-worth came from…But now, ah now we are no longer blind to these trappings. It doesn’t mean that we have become better than others, it just means that we have begun to identify with the eternal Christ more than the temporal measures of self-worth.
Becoming crucified with Christ means that we have aligned ourselves with His love, His redemption, His purposes, His grace. We have allowed Christ to replace the lie with His truth within us. This new creation (because of Christ) provides us with a deeper, more clearer sense of self-worth because it is divine and untarnished by our old sinful selves.
Within this identity shift, recognize too that we must be gentle on ourselves. What do I mean by this? Don’t denigrate and berate yourself when you slip and fall back into some of the old patterns. These old habits are sometimes hard to break. That doesn’t mean that Christ can’t miraculously redeem you from them, but many times we must strive to overcome them through His power…sometimes inch by inch and yard by yard. Be gentle on yourself as you realign your self-worth with that of Christ’s. Sometimes we can become our own worst enemy…If Christ believes in you, you too should find some encouragement and confidence to believe in this new creation that is “You”.
#3 Our true Self-Worth is found not in being served but through service!
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…” 1 Peter 5:6
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…” Ephesians 4:2
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
Jesus washed His disciple’s feet.
He did this to display how vital humility and servanthood was.
Serving others because of our new identities in Christ is an outpouring of this new self-worth and purpose!
No longer are we tied to what others think of us.
No longer are we tied to a self-indulged lifestyle.
No longer are we tied to a selfish success oriented binge of climbing the corporate ladder.
Fame and fortune (which is temporal) take a back seat to the utter gravity of the Salvation Story.
We find our self-worth in serving others because we long to be like Christ in every way!
When we follow this path of servitude, we further execute our old ideals of self-worth while taking up far more significant and eternally impacting cause!
Sometimes we assume that we have this humility thing all worked out, only to find that we still have miles to go in this journey. Be patient. This is day by day. Submitting to Christ completely
can be will be difficult…But isn’t identifying with authentic worth…worth it?
How is your own sense of self-worth today?
Has it been tied up with all the wrong things?
Mine has too.
This is a reminder for all of us.
This is a pondering of encouragement also.
Perhaps we can break these old lies of their power over us, and rediscover how God intended us to live all along.
Something more for us all to ponder today!
To God be the glory!