I’m continuing the series on: How God Sees Us, which commenced here.
We do not come into the world with an innate sense of worth and value. Self-esteem is learnt.
The world would tell that the things that give us worth and value are things like: Appearance, intelligence, and money. Perhaps this is why advertisers are so successful at convincing people to improve their appearance. There is a tendency to think if we look good, we will feel worthwhile as a person. Perhaps it is also explains why qualifications are so valued in our society, it makes people feel good about themselves if they can say they have a particular qualification or put letters after their name. And others find seek to find their self-worth through accumulating wealth. The world’s path to a healthy self-esteem is a slippery slope because the stock market can cause wealth to plummet, qualifications don’t guarantee a well-paid job and appearance naturally deteriorates with age.
We are never going to find a stable sense of feeling worthwhile if we look for it in the world. When we look at God’s way of finding worth and value and we see that he has placed us in a body. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12).
Paul then goes on to explain that a body is not just a foot, or an ear or an eye. That the body has many parts each with a role to play. Everyone has an role. Even if it seems small and unimportant, it is still valuable. We cannot say that if someone is only playing a small part which is hardly noticed that they aren’t needed. We are all important to God. Paul finishes by saying, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
We also see in Jesus’ parable of the talents. Not everyone was given the same amount. This doesn’t mean that some people are more valuable than others, but rather that we are all have different part to play. Paul writes in Romans 12:6 that: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”
So it doesn’t matter if we are teaching at a university or cleaning toilets, we are all have a part to play in God’s kingdom. Our sense of fulfillment comes from using the gifts and abilities God has given us. And not comparing our gifts with those of others. We are the body of Christ. Once we know who we are, we can have a healthy self-esteem. It’s not what we do that determine our worth and value, but rather it’s who we are. We belong to God, his child, part of his Body. Who we are determines our worth and value. And since we belong to God and are part of his body, we couldn’t be more valued.
Paul writes to the Colossians: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15). We are called to peace. We can have peace within ourselves when we are not comparing ourselves or striving to be something we are not. We can be thankful to be part of the body of Christ and thankful for the gifts God has given us. As we learn to use our gifts well and appreciate the gifts of others, we grow in maturity.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:15-16)
Each part does its work.
One of Satan’s common lies, is to tell us that we are different to other people. That other people who more gifted are more valuable to God or that we’ve missed the opportunities God gave us or that it’s too late to change. These are all lies. God has a role for every one of us, regardless of our age, appearance, intelligence, or wealth. God doesn’t use the world standards for deciding how valuable we are. We are all precious to him.