There are two options.
Now… think about the course of your life. Christian faith or not. Same for everyone. You are either at peace, or you are striving. We don’t believe the poets and the third grade teachers who tell us that self-esteem is a primary value… that we need to speak positivity into our own lives and “love ourselves” well. We know that an empty well cannot refill itself. We know, don’t we, that in order to feel valuable – worth loving – we must hear that message from an outside voice.
God formed man from the dust, and then God Himself breathed life into man. No other creatures were blessed like that. Created in His image. Reflecting God Himself. “Let us make man in our image,” God said to Himself. The triune God in relationship with Himself. We are wired to need relationship, because we are made in His image. We draw our identity from our relationship with Him, as he has created us and said, “It is VERY GOOD.”
Unless you don’t draw your identity from a Father who loves you. Unless you are swayed by the father of lies who delights in your pain and humiliation – the evil one who thrives on your insecurity. He whispers in your ear. Then you will try to stave off the impending feelings of worthlessness with chemicals, adrenaline, overachievement, or more often than not… relationships.
World champion tennis star Lindsay Davenport:
“There’s going to be a void in my life when (tennis is) gone. I’ve never been one to sit around. I tried it once and after three days, it was like, ‘This sucks, I’m so bored, I have no purpose.’ I do know, number one, that I want to start a family and have kids. So, as far as having another career, I think that would be tough to do right away.”
It’s a short walk from our complex network of self-affirmation through the valley of self-examination to the sprawling blank slate called self-doubt. Our identity is not meant to hover in stasis. It’s not a self-replenishing well like some Star Trek energy source that bends the laws of physics. Our identity is SPOKEN. Our identity is GIVEN. Our identity is only SECURE in Jesus Christ when our worth is PROCLAIMED by the only infinitely trustworthy source of information in the universe.
Do you think you aren’t worth loving?
Examine your relationship with your Mom and Dad. Are you wounded because they didn’t speak enough positivity into you to fill that need? Let them off the hook. It isn’t their job to fulfill you.
Do you hope that guy you want to marry will be enough? Let him off the hook. He won’t. Not because he doesn’t care enough, but because he isn’t created to fulfill you.
Are you frantically producing… trying to prove you are worthy of respect? Trying to prove it to your family, your coworkers, your church.
Trying to prove it to yourself?
That is an exhausting path. Like Sisyphus, you’ll realize one day when your strength is finally gone, you were never able to get that rock to the top of the hill. Let yourself off the hook. You can’t earn worth. You are given worth by your maker.
You ARE NOT worthless.
But the ache to be at peace is hardwired in you. It was knit into you by your Creator. That ache is not your enemy. It is a natural, God-given need. It is a thirst that can only be slaked by Living Water. If you want to get off the treadmill of people pleasing or the corrosive downward slide of trying to prove to the world you don’t care what they think, it’s time to hear Jesus’ voice again.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
If this hits you where you live, connect with me. We want you to know what peace – real peace – feels like. It would be an honor to introduce you to the One who loves you so much.
“worthless” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.