Embrace Your God-given Significance

What if I were to tell you that you have worth and value purely because you are a human being made by God – would you believe me? 

If we were to take a look at ourselves, we would probably find that we have attached our self-worth and value to external sources. For many, self-worth and value is dependent on the love or approval received from others, achievements and performance without failure. Society has done an excellent job at reinforcing this idea and standard of self-worth. When we choose to believe that our self-worth and value is dependent on external sources, we will struggle because those ideals will let us down. Let’s take a closer look at what I mean. 

  • Approval or love from others – People will let us down. We are human and will not always measure up. If we wait for approval or love from others, it may never come and if it does, it may not be the healthiest form of love. If we attach our self-worth to another person, and it doesn’t turn out the way we would like, it could leave us feeling insignificant, unlovable, or not good enough.
  • Performance and achievements – Connecting self-worth and value to performance or achievements can be risky. If we were to make a mistake, or didn’t perform the way we thought we would in our education, professional life, etc., our self-worth would take a major hit. “The grass is always greener on the other side” rings true because it is easy to struggle with being satisfied or content. If we are chasing after these things to boost our self-worth and value, we could be chasing it forever.
  • Need or desire to be perfect – Perfection is not attainable. The constant strive for perfection will never end, which could cause our self-worth to take a dive again. Perfectionism keeps us striving for approval from others. Brene Brown shares in her book Daring Greatly, “Perfectionism is a defensive move. It’s the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. Perfectionism is the twenty-ton shield we lug around, thinking it will protect us, when in fact it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen.” Once we become focused on what people think of us, we begin to need approval and love from others, which pushes us into a vicious self-deprecating cycle.

When we hitch our self-worth and value to these fluctuating sources, we find ourselves constantly battling the questions of “am I good enough/loveable/worthy/significant?” When we wrestle with these core beliefs about ourselves, it can leave us feeling broken and wanting true significance. But what if we have had self-worth all along and we were looking in the wrong places? What if our self-worth is inherent? By this I mean, we actually have self-worth and value already because we are God’s dearly beloved children. We don’t have to do anything or be anything to gain our worth. I am reminded of the song “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. She sings about listening to who God says she is, and the importance of finding identity in Him. Here are the lyrics. Take a moment to read the lyrics or even listen to the song. 

You Say (By Lauren Daigle)

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up

Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe (I)
Oh, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe (I)
Oh, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
Oh, I believe

Taking all I have, and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure, God, You have every victory

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe (I)
Oh, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe

Oh, I believe (I)
Yes, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe

If we can begin to see ourselves as God sees us, we can begin to release ourselves from the belief that our self-worth and value is dependent on external sources. When we choose to believe that our self-worth is inherent, we can begin to shift our thoughts away from, “I am not good enough” to “I am enough, beloved, loveable and significant.” We are loveable because we were created with the capacity to love and be loved. We are enough just as we are because He created us exactly the way He wanted us to be. 

How do we begin to switch our mindset from a self-worth dependent on external factors to a self-worth which has inherent value evidenced in who God says we are? 

First, changing our narrative to reflect God’s truth instead of past unhealthy thoughts can be valuable. As human beings, we are shaped by our stories. James Bryan Smith, the author of The Good and Beautiful God, shares that there are three different types of narratives that play a significant role in the way we live our lives: family, cultural, and religious. He says, “From early on we are told stories by our parents, which help us interpret how life is or how life ought to be.” Our lives are built on stories and we learn about ourselves through the stories that we are told by our parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. Furthermore, we can benefit spiritually and emotionally when we  assess our family and cultural narratives against God’s narrative for us because His narrative is ripe with love and delight in who we are.

Secondly, when we institute spiritual disciplines in our lives such as prayer, reading scripture and being in solitude with Him, we are creating the opportunity for God to continue to strengthen his narrative in our lives. For example, the message behind Lauren Daigle’s song – “You are loved” comes from God’s narrative for us and may be hard to believe immediately. We have to work at it, reminding ourselves daily of this truth. This repetitive practice is important because the more we read this truth and meditate on it in prayer, the more we will begin to believe it and then we will begin to live it out. When we ask Him to remind us of who we are, He does. You are enough. You are worthy. You are loveable. You are significant.

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