by: Staci Stallings
Worth. What is it?
We ask, “Is it worth it?” and “What’s it worth to you?”
All of the definitions of worth speak of value–monetary or life value.
But where do we get our worth? I think that is a central way Satan uses to get us off-track. I also think if we were to look at the question and not just live it blindly, it could help us find some peace rather than a mountain of stress.
Let’s look first at how the world says we get our worth. There are many ways the world says you can be “worth it.” You can have a well-paying job or a good family; a fine home or fancy cars. You can be a leader in your community or you can contribute to society in some meaningful way.
All of those are fine in their place, but here’s the problem.
When you get your worth from your job, what happens when you lose the job or even could potentially lose it? At that point the job becomes your worth. No wonder losing a job can be so devastating. Yes, you have the financial strain, but worse the job loss signals to you that your worth is suddenly zero.
How about if your worth is tied up in being married or in a relationship? “I am worth it because I have someone who loves me.” Okay. What happens when they leave or die?
Many Christians try to derive their worth from their work in the church or in ministry. Don’t get me wrong–ministry is important, but it does not and should not define if you are worth it or not. When people begin to look to their ministry and church work to give them self-worth, oh, do they get into trouble quickly.
And I believe right there is where Satan snags the most well-intentioned Christians. In their heads and their hearts, he twines the belief that “since I’m working in the church, I’m worth something.”
However, when you are working for your worth in any context, even the in the church, you’re in trouble. Why? Because seeking worth through your own work can become an addiction. At first, it feels like it takes very little ministry to experience a worth-increase. Then, as you go, it takes more and more to experience that same sense of “I’m worth it.”
Now, I love the church, but it is one place that will absolutely ask you to give more than any human ever can. There are always positions to fill, jobs to do, needs to be met. You can join the choir and the ladies organization; you can pray for missions and help at the bake sale; you can volunteer to help with the youth, teach Sunday School and run VBS; you can help plant the trees and do the fundraiser for the new foyer rug. You can read in services, usher, and be in hospitality. You can be on the finance council and on the board.
There is literally no end to the ministries you can choose to be in, and therein lies the trap. When you are working for your worth, and to get the “high” you initially experience from gaining your self-worth through you work, you have to do more and more and more; and there are so many good things in the church that you could be doing…. Oh, it’s easy to hit burn-out while simultaneously feeling like you are not doing enough.
It’s a paradox that snags too many Christians.
So what is the answer?
Stop working for your worth!
The truth is… the Good News is… your worth is not defined by anything on this earth. Nothing you do or don’t do can add or subtract from your inherent worth. Why? Because your worth doesn’t come from you or anything outside you. It comes only from God, and the worth God imbues you with is perfect and whole just as it is. No additions or subtractions necessary.
Does that mean we don’t work? No. It means we work from a spirit of who we are in God, not from a spirit of trying to become something if we do enough.
Stop working for your worth. Understand that right now, just as you are–you are worth it because God says you are.
Once you get that, your work will no longer feel like work. You can say yes when you want to and no when you don’t, and not feel the crushing guilt of letting everyone else down and knowing that now they will think you are not worth it.
The truth is: You are priceless, just as you are, because God made you and you are a Child of the King.
Period. End of sentence… and beginning of a brand new life.
What a great article. Thank you for sharing it.
Trixi O. says
That reminds me of a scripture, namely Colossians 3:23-24: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”. I think once we get that down in our hearts and we do the work for the Lord (and not for man), that we will find we are a more satisfied people! And I have learned over the years to find my worth in Him. But it was hard! Because I did find my worth is so many other things, and when I failed, I felt so down on myself and ashamed. God had to heal me in so many ways to really get that through to me. I’m worth it simply because He loves me, and He sees me as worthy :-) How freeing is that?
Narelle Atkins says
Staci, great post! A wonderful reminder – thanks for sharing with us :)