Self Worth

When You Feel Worthless

The Bible actually has many passages that tell us what God has to say about our worth and our value in His eyes. Genesis 1:26-27 says we are made in His image, the very image of God. Psalm 139:13-16 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives. Ephesians 1:4 says God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed, and in Ephesians 1:13-14 we’re told we are God’s own possession, chosen for the praise of His glory, and that we have an inheritance in heaven with Him as His children.

But notice the wording in each of the above phrases: “are made,” “are fearfully and wonderfully made,” “were written,” “God chose His children,” “we are God’s own possession,” and “we have an inheritance.” These phrases all have one thing in common: they are things done to us or for us by God. These are not things we have done for ourselves, nor have we earned or deserved them. We are, in fact, merely the recipients of “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we can conclude that our worth is not really of the “self” at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him because of the price He paid to make us worthy—the death of His Son on the cross.

The Bible tells us that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). In fact, we “were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). What worth is there in dead things? None. God imputed to us His own righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) not because we were worthy of it, but because we were unworthy, unlovable, and unable to make ourselves worthy in any way. But—and here’s the miracle—He actually loved us in spite of our condition (John 3:16), and because He did, we now have infinite worth.

John 1:12 tells us that to those who received Christ and believed in His name, God gave the right to become His children. First John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we focus on how much God loves us and the price He paid to redeem us, we’ll come to see ourselves as God sees us, and that will help us understand just how much we’re really worth as children of the most high God.

Our self-worth is too often based on what other people tell us about ourselves. The one, true authority on our self-worth is Jesus Christ, and since He gave His own life up for us by dying on a cross, that should tell us just how valuable we really are.

Why Does God Value Me?

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  Matthew 10:29

Of the more than 9,000 varieties of birds in the world, none is more common than the sparrow.  The adjective “common” well describes this little bird that is found throughout much of the world, from the extreme reaches of the north to the southern hemisphere.  Geese have been seen over the Himalayas in Asia at a height of more than 29,000 feet, where jet airplanes fly.  But not the little sparrow that hovers quite close to the ground.  While an African ostrich may stand 8 feet tall and weigh 300 pounds, the little sparrow can rest in your hand.  Some birds, such as the peacock, have brilliant plumage, but sparrows are pretty basic and plain little birds mostly brown in color, with an occasional touch of white or black, or a suggestion of red.

Some scientists say that crows are the most intelligent of all birds because of their cunning.  But the closest that sparrows get to the great universities of our day is in the trees that abound on their campuses.  Some birds, such as thrushes and meadowlarks, have beautiful songs, but the little sparrow chirps in his rather ordinary voice.

While some exotic birds demand great prices in pet and specialty stores, sparrows are practically worthless, something that has been true for a long, long time.

In reality, sparrows are pretty insignificant in the kingdom of feathered friends, yet it is amazing how prominently sparrows fit into the language of the Bible.  Jesus often spoke of sparrows, trying to help people understand that God takes note of them, and that people are of far greater value than the sparrows of the heavens.

He said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).

Just this morning a little sparrow was perched outside my window, and I began thinking of what I have just shared with you.  A lot of us can relate to the sparrows.  We live with turkeys instead of soaring with eagles.  In life we haven’t climbed the Everests of success; we spent our lives down in the valley, going from one paycheck to the next, grubbing out an existence.  We flit from one task to the next, doing the best we can with what we’ve got.

How beautiful that Jesus used the sparrow as an object lesson, which teaches us that we may not soar with the eagles or strut with the peacocks, but we are important to our Heavenly Father.  One of the greatest concerns of people today is how God really views our lives.  Does He really care?  Are you one of the billions of faceless people in His sight?  Or does He take note of the ruffled feathers in your life?

There’s good news, friend!  It’s a settled issued.  He does take notice, and He cares.  May I suggest that you make a note of Matthew 6 in your Bible and remind yourself of what you probably already know in your heart.  Jesus put it like this:  “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:26-27).

The next time you hear the chirp of a little sparrow, or see one hopping from limb to limb outside your window, remind yourself that the most common of birds is important to our Heavenly Father, and so are you, friend.  It’s a truth that brings encouragement and hope for today.

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