Recognize Your Value
You may not be perfect—nobody is! Sure, you’ve got some flaws—we all do! But to be truly free, you must have a healthy respect for yourself in spite of those “imperfections.”
Some people are always putting themselves down. “I’m so slow.” I’ll never break these bad habits.” “I’m unattractive. Look at my nose; what am I ever going to do with my hair?”
Don’t be so hard on yourself! Certainly, there may be some things in your life that you aren’t happy about; you may have some habits you need to break. But remember, God is not finished with you. He’s in the process of changing you.
The Scripture says we are God’s workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10) The word workmanship implies that you are not yet a finished product; you are a “work in process.” Throughout our lives, God is continually shaping and molding us into the people He wants us to be. The key to future success is to not be discouraged about your past or present while you are in the process of being “completed.” The Bible indicates that we go from glory to glory as we are being transformed into God’s image. (Corinthians 3:18) Whether you realize it or not, right now God is moving you onward toward greater things. The path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter. (Proverbs 4:18)
When you are tempted to get discouraged, remind yourself that according to God’s Word, your future is getting brighter; you are on your way to a new level of glory. You may think you’ve got a long way to go, but you need to look back at how far you’ve already come. You may not be everything you want to be, but at least you can thank God that you’re not what you used to be.
Our value is intrinsic. It is not something you or I have earned; indeed, we cannot earn it. God built value into us when He created us. To God, we are His ultimate creations. That means you can stop obsessing about all your faults and give yourself a break. Every person has weaknesses. Even the great men and women of the Bible made mistakes. They all had shortcomings, but that didn’t stop God from loving them, blessing them, and using them to accomplish great deeds. Besides, we need to learn how to keep our flaws in perspective. You may think there is a lot wrong with you, but there is also a lot right with you.
The great news is that God knows everything about you, both good and bad, and He still loves you and values you unconditionally. God does not always approve of our behavior. He is not pleased when we go against His will, and when we do, we always suffer the consequences and have to work with Him to correct our thoughts, words, actions, or attitudes. And while you should work to improve in the areas where you fall short, nothing you do will ever cause God to love you less…or more. His love is constant you can depend on.
Understand, your value in God’s eyes never changes. Some people want us to think that the moment we do something wrong or get off course, God gets His big marker out, crosses our name off His list, and says, “I knew they couldn’t do it. I knew they didn’t have what it takes.” No, God is forgiving God. He is a God of second chances. No matter how many times you fail Him or how many mistakes you make, your value in God’s eyes remains exactly the same.
Imagine that I am handing you a new, crisp one-hundred-dollar bill. Would you want it? Probably so! Suppose I crumpled it up so it wasn’t quite as good-looking as it was the day it came from the mint. Would you still want it? Sure! But wait, what if I took it out in the parking lot, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it until the picture on the bill was barely perceptible? It’s now dirty, stained, and soiled. Would you still want it?
Of course. Why? Because it is still valuable despite the rough treatment it has experienced. A hundred dollars is a hundred dollars. It doesn’t lose its value simply because it has aged, is not as pretty as it once was, or has taken some bumps and bruises in life.
That’s the way God sees each one of us. We all go through challenges and struggles. Sometimes we feel like that hundred-dollar bill, all crumpled and soiled. But just as that hundred-dollar bill still has value, we do, too! In fact, we will never, ever lose our value. Our value has been placed in us by the Creator of the universe, and nobody can take it away from us.
Don’t let other people, systems, or circumstances influence your estimation of your value. You may have gone through some traumatic, painful experiences in which somebody mistreated you, used you, or rejected you. Maybe your husband or wife walked out on you and you went through a bitter divorce. Maybe a good friend turned on you for no reason, and you now feel alone and worthless. Or, maybe you felt rejected as a child, and you are living with feelings of guilt and shame. Perhaps you’ve even convinced yourself that the negative things that happened in your past are all your fault, that you deserve nothing but heartache, pain, guilt, and condemnation.
Friend, nothing could be farther from the truth.