“NOT WORTHLESS!!” 3 Ways to Discovering Your Self-Worth Pt.2

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.

vaporOur 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!child
“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.

cross#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! 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!  serve

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!

“Choose God”

1 Samuel 8:6-9 (NIV)
But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD.
And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.  As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.  Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”


God’s heart must have ached in hearing the pleas of His people.  They demanded a king.  They looked around at the other nations and coveted what they had.  God had provided them food and protection in a barren land during the exodus, and He had provided them lands to call their own, but still they strayed from Him.  Still they wanted more.  Enemies were vanquished before His people, provisions were met and yet they took it all for granted.  

When they cried out for a king in the setting sun of Samuel’s leadership, God reminded him that it was aimed at the Almighty.  “It is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.”  (1 Samuel 8:7)  Imagine for a moment giving up the One who was their fortress of protection.  Imagine saying to God, your wealth, though it outnumbers the stars in the sky, is not enough for me…we want something else.  God had poured out His love upon His people and they had rejected it again and again.  

If there was ever a governmental system in this world that could stand the test of time it was and still is God’s model.  No other form of government has ever before or ever will prove more pure and selfless than His.  No other form of democracy will ever remain without being tainted by man’s selfish ambitions for power, prestige and wealth.  Yet His people chose a lower form of government because other nation’s systems looked more appealing.  The lure of other gods and openly degenerate moralistic standards appealed to the people of God.  How awful Samuel, God’s prophet must have felt.  How hurt and heartsick with grief Samuel must have been.  

Have you ever felt the sting of rejection?  I have a time or two.  It is an emotion that without a doubt begs never to be repeated in the human heart.  Though this went much deeper than a single person being rejected, God was rejected by the entirety of His chosen people!  They turned their backs on Him.  They decided that He couldn’t support their needs any longer and so a king would better suit their pleasures.  

I imagine through pain, disdain and hurt God tells Samuel to give the people what they want.  But He also warns Samuel to tell them what the results will be of their betrayal and choice.   “Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.” (1 Samuel 8:9) The idea of a king was far more appealing to the people of God than actually considering the consequences of their choice.  The king would reign over them, not like a loving, understanding and all knowing God, but like a man driven by selfish intentions and sin this would be how they would be ruled over.  

God allowed them to choose.  We are a created with this free-will within us.  We are not compelled or forced to love and serve God.  Yet when we choose to reject Him and His hand upon our lives we soon find that in our folly the devastating consequences of life without Him!  I am not advocating for one form of government over another today, nor am I renouncing any leadership within our government (Scripture clearly says: “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:13-17))  But what I am saying is this; above everything choose Him.  Don’t turn from the One who created us and has preserved our lives.  Choose God.  Serve Him, love Him and make Him Lord of your life above and before all else.  

-Just a thought for today.


“Brothers don’t shake hands…Brothers gotta hug!”

The title I have used today is a quote from one of my favorite Chris Farley movies: “Tommy Boy”.   In it he discovers (falsely so) that he has a brother and so he is ecstatic to welcome him into the family.  The film is a little crude at times, yet Chris Farley had a way of hamming it up for cameras which made him extremely funny.

Do you know what’s not funny in this world though?  Brothers and sisters in Christ facing discouragement and frustrations alone in life.  Why does this happen?  Isn’t the Body of Christ supposed to uplift and encourage?  Where are the helping hands at times to come along those who are suffering through various blights of discouragement?

Paul puts it rather plainly for the early church and for us still today when he says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) 

Why then, in times of despair, does it seem as if some are trudging through it alone?

Do you remember the story of the paralytic who wanted to be healed by Jesus?  How did he get to Jesus?  He certainly didn’t walk there.  No, instead his friends took the time to care for him.  They took the time to pick him up on his mat and take him to Jesus.  In fact they had to go to great lengths to place their friend at the feet of Jesus.  When they got to where Jesus was teaching they discovered that the house was full of people, there was absolutely no room for them to carry him in on his mat.  So instead of calling it quits or abandoning their friend they instead devised a shrewd plan.  The hefted him, laboriously up onto the owner’s roof and tore a hole in it so that they could lower him down to Jesus.  (Mark 2:4)  What friends!   They took the time to encourage and lift (literally) their friend to Jesus.

What of us today?  Do we take the time to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ?  Or are we too preoccupied with our own worries and our own busy schedules?  These friends who lowered their paralyzed colleague down through a roof could have called it quits once they found the house to be too full of people.  They could have shrugged their shoulders and said, “well we tried” and carried him back home with no change in his living situation…yet they didn’t.  They took time out of their busy schedules.  They went the extra mile.  They weren’t interested in what they could get out of the situation.  It wasn’t about them, it was about their friend, their brother on the mat who couldn’t move.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, there is sometimes a danger of becoming too comfortable in our lives that we lose focus on others around us.  Others who could use some encouragement.  Others who need to hear a word of love and kindness from their peers.  We can’t afford to be little isolated islands or clusters of Church goers who never engage and connect with other parts of the body of Christ!

The poet John Donne once wrote:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee. 

Today, there are fellow Christ-followers who need your support.  Today there are brothers and sisters in Christ who are about to give up because they feel all alone with no one to support them.  Today is another shining opportunity to be a brother or a sister to the discouraged and distraught.  You can be a source of encouragement.  You don’t need to be a professional counselor or a degreed Psychologist to help, you just need to be present and available.

Are you willing?  Are you available?  Ask the Lord for guidance and discernment and then get involved in the lives of other believers which will extend far beyond the pew on Sundays.  Give them a hug, love on them and then allow God’s fellowship of love to penetrate your hearts so that self isn’t number one but Christ is first and others are even before our own wants and needs.

-Just a thought for today.

and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith...” 1 Thessalonians 3:2

The World A Flame (Poem)


I watched the world die today

from my three seasons porch

my comfortable perch, a safe haven

of hope drawn in by

its soft, inviting  light of the day.

It spilled onto my lap, warming my feet

as I sat cross legged on the couch.

The earth was in flames today

and I watched it all burn and smolder

and finally it came crashing


to the ground.

I watched with horrified


on the edge of my seat

fascinated and transifixed

as hatred ruled the heart

I drank another

cup of steaming coffee

rich and black

smooth as silk

down to the last bitter

earthen drop.

Bitterness tainted

more than this empty cup

as I watched

it ignited the  hapless soul

as it careened out of control

diving headfirst  into the souls

of others who were also hell bent

on the pathways of selfishness.

As eyes took in the flames

the heat, the spite, the maliced tongue

I wept…for this was

a vision of me

hell bent on my own


hell bent on my own agendas

on my own devices and self-ladden heart

the man aflame was me…and I could do nothing

but watch it all go crumbling down

how powerless these hands and feet.

How empty all these yearnings and strivings.

How bitter the self-indulgent worries

and the blankets of careless apathy.

I saw the world burn today

as I sat and watched it all crumble to the ground.

“Like-minded…but not like the Borg!”

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” -Philippians 2:1,2


What does ‘being like minded’ mean?  I’m a science fiction geek I freely admit it!  And I recall the old Star Trek Next Generation when the Enterprise faced off a number of times with the terrifying aliens called the ‘Borg’.  The thing that stood them apart and made them so dangerous was that they were of one mind.  They were all connected to the ‘collective’ and they would absorb and assimilate other cultures and worlds, thereby gaining knowledge and understanding.  The Borg were terrifying and yet effective because of the ‘like-minded collective.

But truly, science fiction aside, what does being like-minded mean?  Are we to be God’s “collective” here on Earth?  Not for any evil purpose mind you, but for His Holy purpose?  What does being like-minded mean?  Especially when we see so many church splits, divisions and varying thoughts of ideology.  How is it that what began as one body of believers coming together to worship, testify and make other disciples has ended up being many bodies and many sets of worship practices?  Is this what Christ had in mind?  If I were to take it a step further, if this wasn’t what Christ had in mind then did He make a mistake?

The answer to both of those questions is ‘NO’!  His prayer ‘that they may all be one” (John 17:21) is still a prayer for us today.  The problem with this earthly body of believers is that we have free will.  When it comes to deciding and making our choices in worship and practice, we fall short of attaining this unity.  Let’s be honest, church has in the past, present and most probably the future been run by those within the spectrum of human authority.  Sure God has been present within churches, but not all decisions made by man have been God led or God honoring.  It is safe to say that politics is alive and well within the Church.  Both on the large and small scare this is true.  From leadership selection to the color of the carpet in a chapel there is politics involved.  I think Paul had experienced politics that was of selfish intent through various towns and cities when he went on to say in this same passage, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” -Philippians 2:3-4


Unfortunately the down side is that some, not all, leaders are bent to self and selfish motivations.  It’s the nature of humanity that is not fully surrendered which becomes evident through the choices of man sugar coating it to be what God has intended.  But I am confident that God can take that which man has marred, that which man has broken, that which man has truly messed up and turn it into something remarkable.

It’s not that I  willingly place my faith and trust in leaders who lead this way, but rather in my submission to the Father in Heaven.  So that when I say “Thy will be done” I really mean it even if I am subjugated to a system or to leaders who are fallible and often make decisions based politically rather than biblically.

Paul implores us all to serve selflessly rather than selfishly.  When we can actually practice selflessness in word and in deed then being like-minded can actually occur within God’s body here on earth.

Confession time:

I too struggle with this in my life.  There have been times when I have made decisions based on how it will impact me rather than others.  Sometimes that full surrender isn’t made complete in me.  It’s a daily thing that must take place, in which we force our selfishness back in the box, we kneel before the Father and give Him the box again and we allow His love to shine through us instead of the light of selfish intentions and moral failings.

I want to be a transformer in my world how about you?  I want to be like-minded with others who are in the truth but this can’t be done if I’m looking out for me, myself and I.  If we are to function and thrive as His ambassadors we have to stop playing church politics and the selfishness game and instead face the mission of Christ that He beckons us to.


What do I stand for? (Day 1 of 5 Selfishness/Selflessness)


What do I stand for?   The music video linked here by ‘Fun.’ asks a very good question, and within the context of living as Kingdom people, followers of Christ, this question begs an answer in all of us!  If we are truly honest with ourselves we have asked this question a time or two.  This question encompasses a whole spectrum of things from political beliefs and ideologies to intrinsic ethical and moral convictions of our personal worldviews.  This question can be a very existential pondering.  For when we ask this solitary question, other questions in the sequence of our lives beg to be asked as well.

Automatically, when thinking about what we stand for, we will recall the ‘golden rule’; “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”.  And certainly this is applicable, but what is it that we would like others to do unto us?  Love us?  Yes.  Treat us fairly? Check.  Be honest?  Certainly.  Be kind?  Absolutely.  All of these qualities and more is what we would have others do to us.

Enter Selfishness:

We hold to those truths listed above for others, but what about the way we treat other people?  Do we treat others the same way?  All too often we peer through rose colored glasses in how we treat others but if we were to look harder at our motives and intentions, we would quickly realize that many times we do things that will benefit us.  If there isn’t something in it for us, then we quickly lose interest and pursue things more self-involved and self-fulfilled.  Selfishness is our down fall most of the time.  If we aren’t fulfilled by the things we do, then no one will be fulfilled.  This is our old sinful self that is rearing its ugly head.  If there was a weakness in the Christian armor, the chinks in the armor would be selfishness and pride.   If we let our selfishness reign supreme in our decisions and in our lifestyles then we aren’t fulfilling our calling as Christ-followers.   Selflessness and Selfishness cannot take up the same space within our hearts; it’s either one or the other.   This is the crux of our world today, many of our sin issues that is crumbling any sense of morality comes from our pursuit of selfishness.

What Does Selflessness look like?

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:26-28 (NIV) 

If we stand for Christ and for what He seeks to do for the lost in our world then we must become servants and serve!  Becoming a servant of Christ isn’t easy, and it never will be if we still operate from our old selfishness.  Before we knew Christ we were consumed by this selfishness.  Now that we know Him and identify with His suffering we too must stand for more than just ourselves.  That old operating system of self cannot and will not lead others to God.  It will only perpetuate that sinful selfish cycle that this world is so used to.  What Christ did, was turn selfishness on its head.  What He asks of us as Sons and daughters of God is to follow in His footsteps as we fulfill that great commission:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

When we ‘go’ we are called to leave our selfishness behind.  This, from the start is where we begin this journey of what we stand for!


Like a television series, imagine the old announcer say, “Tune in tomorrow, we’ll explore ‘Standing for God’s justice’.”

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