By: Dr Eliezer Gonzalez
What are you worth? There are many wrong ideas about Christianity. One of them is that for Christians, being humble means being realising that you are sinful, evil, and totally worthless.
Our society tells us that we our worth is based on how often you get what you want in your life, your jobs and relationships, or crudely, just on how much stuff you have. Another key message we get about society is that our worth is determined by how much our lives look like the lives of apparently successful people in the media, entertainment, and social media sectors. These are false bases of worth, and very unsatisfying. No wonder there is so much quiet desperation and disillusionment in our world today.
I’ve always struggled with the idea of my own self-worth, and I got some very wrong ideas about it from some of the things I learnt as a Christian. I got the idea, for example, that being a Christian meant always putting yourself last, and that it means letting people continuously walk all over you. I’ve had to learn that that’s now what it means to live as a Christian. I’ve had to learn to stand up for myself!
Even recently I received a message from a man who is a wonderful, sincere Christian, who sadly sees that being loving means always agreeing to the abusive demands in others. As he said to me, “Isn’t that what Jesus did when he went to the Cross.”
True humility means letting go of the false worth of the world.
What was my response to him? I told him that his behaviour wasn’t loving, because love always acts in the best interests of all. By this, I mean that when you submit to an abuser, you aren’t being loving to that person because you are harming them by enabling their behaviour.
And you certainly aren’t loving to yourself, not just because you are allowing yourself to be abused in that moment, but also because you are establishing the future patterns of your own behaviour that are contrary to who God wants you to be.
Real humility isn’t letting go of your true worth. True humility means letting go of the false worth of the world.
True humility means finding your worth in Christ. However, when you do that, you will necessarily also abandon every false basis of your value and worth.
Although it can be difficult to deal with, what other people think about you isn’t really the true measure of your worth. What are you worth? The ultimate measure of your worth is seen in the answer to the question, “What value does God place on you?”
Here are some Bible verses that give us the answer to that question. God says:
…you are precious and honored in my sight,
and… I love you (Isa. 43:4.)
God has shown us just how precious and honoured you are in his sight, and just how much he loves us. For the sake of our forgiveness and salvation God allowed Jesus to die for you. You were “bought” with Jesus’ blood, as the apostle Peter writes:
…it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Pet. 1:18–19.)
What are you worth? Jesus was valued as worthy of death so that you might have life.
What are you worth? There could be no greater worth than the value that God has placed on you, since,
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all… (Rom. 8:32.)
There at the Cross, the Jesus was valued as worthy of death so that you might be valued as worthy of eternal life. There, he was valued as nothing, so that you might be valued as priceless. Because that is the price that was paid for our salvation, we are called to have the same attitude:
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross (Phil. 2:5–8, NLT.)
We are able to freely surrender our rights, not because we are worthless but because we know have eternal worth. We are able to live in service to others, not because we don’t care about ourselves, but because we have been loved so extravagantly that we share that love with others. We live like this because we know our worth is eternal.
What are you worth? You are worth forever.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.