What’s in a Word? – Worthiness

“I can’t believe you would do that for me!”

If you numbered the times this phrase or something like it has come out of my mouth, it would be an inordinate amount. For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth and self-esteem. I know I’m not alone in this (in fact, I wrote an entire article tackling the monster of low self-esteem among Christians!); it can be difficult to grasp our worth through the eyes of those who show us kindness. How much moreso worthiness in the eyes of a perfect God?

One of my goals lately has been to accept the worthiness God has placed within me as a being created in His image. This requires dismantling almost three decades of assumptions where I’ve been measuring my worth based on the world’s standards and found myself lacking. I know I will never be perfect—but there is worth in me because I am a child of God, made in His likeness for good works. What a blessing that is!

Instead of “I can’t believe Jesus did that for me,” I’m trying to shift my thinking to “Thank you for deeming me worthy of that sacrifice, Jesus. I’m going to live my life as best I can to make the most of what you gave for me!” Instead of rejecting the gift God placed in me because I’m “not as good as others”, I’m turning my focus to fulfilling the purpose for which He created me. And instead of dwelling on all my unworthiness, I’m keeping my eyes on the One who gave His Son so that people like me could be part of a family.

We indeed have worth, my friends. The Creator who made us decrees it. And who are we to claim we know better than Him about our true value? 

Thank you, Jesus, for deeming us all worthy of that sacrifice. 

What is Worthiness?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines worthiness as “having worth or excellence; enough worth or excellence; sufficient worth or excellence.”

Most of us spend our entire lives fighting to feel worthy.  Whether by a wound dealt to us in childhood or by the simple result of living in a broken world that has more time and attention to pay to some than others, by the time many people reach adulthood they have struggled with feelings of doubt surrounding their worth. It is ultimately impossible to feel our intrinsic value or worth when the source we draw from is our appeal to the world or even ourselves. In some way or another, we will always fall short of having “sufficient” or “enough” worth for this world due to its fallen nature and the ever-shifting climate of its affections. 

For that reason, our sense and definition of our own worth should not come from the world’s opinion of us, but from what God says of us.

What Does the Bible Say About Our Worth?

Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

Luke 12:7 – Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

How Should I Approach My Worth?

There are two primary ways to handle the matter of your worth. The first is to find the places in your life where you measure your value against the scales of what the world deems worthy—wealth, fame, sensuality, wits, smarts, etc.—and turn those over to God instead. Let His truth and His scale of worthiness become the one you measure yourself against. 

We are made in the image of God. He formed us in our mothers’ wombs. Apart from His vision of us, there is no truly accurate metric of our worth. So we must learn to make His standard the one we hold ourselves to, and to embrace the inherent worthiness we have as His creations, fearfully and wonderfully. 

The second way is to realize that ultimately, it is not about us. This is not to say we utterly negate our intrinsic value—God certainly didn’t when He gave His only Son to redeem us. But the pursuit of worth should not become the focal point of our lives. One of the great purposes God sees in His children is that we serve our worthy King, Jesus. So in order to not be swept up in matters of self-worth to the point where we obsess over our value, we must recognize that we were worthy of being bought and paid for by the Blood of the Lamb. Now we serve him above all else, even above the pursuit of measuring our own worth, for he is worthy above all others of our praise, love, and sacrifice.   

Take Action!

Do you tend to base your sense of worth on how the world sees you, or how God sees you? Meditate on what Scripture says about your worth and pray that God will give you eyes to see yourself as He does. 

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