It’s an age-old problem, beginning with Cain and Abel, resurfacing with Jacob and Esau, and sinking to ever deepening lows with Joseph and his ten older brothers, then Saul and David, the disciples, all of whom brooded over the question:
“How much am I worth?”
“Am I worth more than he is?”
We need not belabor the point that this is a knottier problem than ever, now that with one tap of a button, we can summon forth images of beautiful, slim, wealthy people, who are talented, intelligent, and successful, and then look at ourselves in a mirror and wonder:
“What in the world is wrong with me?”
“I’m too fat (or too skinny). I’m too short (or too tall). My hair is too straight (or too curly). I can’t run, can’t throw, hit, or catch a ball. I can’t do math. I can’t read and retain what I’m reading. I can’t cook. I’m no good at…”
This view of ourselves is the reason we vow to do better. Then when we decide to try, and then falter, we conclude we were right about ourselves all along.
“I can’t do anything right.”
“I’m a loser.”
“I’m a waste of space.”
This we say, because we are comparing ourselves to other people, which God says, “is not wise.”
II Corinthians 10: 12. …they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.
We spend too much time considering our lack of “worth,” and too little time thinking of how much God thinks of us. This is where a true sense of value lies.
- His Way is Perfect
Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect.
His way is perfect in creation.
Isaiah 43:7 Even everyone that is called by my name; For I have created him for my glory, I have formed him: yea, I have made him.
Does this say, “I have created the talented for my glory”? The attractive? The intelligent?
We are created for God’s glory. This is our chief aim in life. How we are to bring glory to Him is His choice, His design, His plan, His decision.
Stop to think how many “ordinary” people in your life have brought glory to God?
The parents who tenderly cared for a sick or hurting child.
The single parent who worked two jobs to provide for children after the loss of a spouse.
The neighbor who mowed the yard, offered a ride, provided a meal.
The teacher, pastor, mentor, coach, friend who stepped in to help.
His way is perfect in redemption.
Isaiah 49:16. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.
Psalm 45: 13. The king’s daughter is all glorious within.
At what point did this great love begin? When you were conceived, when you were born, when you were saved?
Revelation 13: 8 … from the foundation of the world.
“Yes,” you say, “I know God loved me enough to save me, but since then:
“I have failed Him. I have hurt my parents, my family. I’m not doing as much as I once did. I’m not doing as much as other people are. I was once someone important, but not now.”
What you view as failure might alter human love, but not God’s love.
- His Love Is Everlasting.
God loves you whether you fail or succeed, when you are right, and when you are wrong, when you have great faith, and when you have none at all.
Hebrews 4: 15-16. We have not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Peter denied Jesus. But God’s love toward him did not change.
Luke 22: 32. [Jesus said to Peter] But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Did Peter’s faith fail? He did, after all, deny Christ.
But did his faith fail ultimately and completely? No. Jesus’ prayer for Peter was answered.
Peter repented, did not let his failure define him, and spent the rest of his life “strengthening the brethren” and preaching the Gospel.
If today, for whatever reason, you are doubting your own worth, because you have failed, you have sinned, you do not “measure up” to someone else, or someone else’s expectations, you have lost something or someone you love, do not look at yourself and doubt your worth.
Look up instead. Open the Bible and look there.
Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved thee with an everlasting love.
Our worth is not dependent on what we think of ourselves, but on what God thinks of us.
Isaiah 42:3. A bruised read shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.
What is weaker than the bruised reed or the smoldering wick? A reed that grows in the marshland—let the foot of man brush against it, and it is bruised and broken. Then look at the smoldering wick. It has a spark within it, but it is almost smothered.
Weak things are here described; yet Jesus says of them, “The smoldering wick I will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break.” Some of God’s children are made strong to do mighty works for Him. He has a few mighties who are lionlike men, but the majority of His people are a timid, trembling race. They are a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are taken like birds in a snare; if trial threatens, they are ready to faint. Yet, weak as they are, and because they are so weak, they have this promise made especially to them.
We need never shrink back from His touch. We need never fear a harsh word from Him. Bruised reeds shall have no blows from Him, and the smoldering wick no damping frowns. —Charles Spurgeon
“O God, Let us not live uncertain of what we are…enable us to say, ‘I know my Redeemer.’ Give us closer abiding in Jesus that we may have a fuller joy.” –The Valley of Vision