ATP: Self Worth - From Where Does It Come?
Great question! Psychologically, the male gender draws its self-esteem from what it accomplishes, the female from relationships. Even when a woman achieves in the work place a position often associated with the male sex, she will still draw her self-worth from relationships. This is true because God set it down in Genesis 3: 16.
(Not to belabor this point, but some may argue that the New Testament tells us "we are neither male or female in Christ." Gal 3:28) However, this is not describing man/woman's emotional needs, God is addressing the privilege granted to all – Jew and Greek, free and slave, male and female – in the Gospel that is Salvation.
You recall it wasn't the women who were jumping out of windows during the great depression, it was the men. So, back to the question: "If psychologically the man draws his self-worth from what he achieves and the woman from relationships, how do we draw our self-worth from what we store up in heaven?"
As you know our society, as have cultures throughout the ages, places its emphasis on that which is fleeting. It tells us that what we own, store, accomplish and look like is what determines the value of the man/woman. Therefore, society places one's value on the temporal. In contrast God places value on what is eternal. Hence the statement, "We should draw our self-worth (or esteem) from what we store up in heaven."
Hear the words of our Lord in Matthew 6:19-20
19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Again, God says, 1 Samuel 16:7
"Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
One more passage, Jesus said in Matthew 10:42
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
What is God saying here? He is going to reward "why" we do what we do. The motive is EVERYTHING to God. Translated that means our self- worth should come from our relationship with our Father. As His offspring, if we move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28) that is what gives us value. Are you a mother? Then mother for Christ. Therein is your value. CAUTION! Don't necessarily look at the product (that will mess you up big time especially in the teen years – Smile). Remember, you are going to answer for your obedience not the product. Cain and Abel both had the same parents. In fact, Adam and Eve had the perfect Parents (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and they, by choice, blew it. Let me get back on track. What am I saying? Whatever we do, if we do it for Christ – labor, leisure, tithe, mother, father, minister, pray, exercise faith, etc., then that – regardless of the outcome – is laying up treasures in Heaven. And laying up treasure in heaven is what God considers true value. Therefore, if God says that is what counts, then our self-worth should come from what is important to Him.
One more truth relational to "self-esteem." Clearly, God's word tells us that we are important, that we have value because we belong to Him. In Psalm 139:14 we read,
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Our self-esteem should come not because someone says, "You are beautiful!" or "Great job!" but because God created us in His image and for His pleasure. (Rev 4:11) Therefore, if all we can do is simply love Him – mental or physical handicaps may hinder anything other than that – we have value. Isn't that the First Great Commandment? "Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength." (Mark 12:30) There is no greater place to see our value in life than loving Him and living for Him. All else is vanity.
Keep your eyes on Him. See yourself for who you are – a child of the King, and your self-worth will never remain in question.
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