“Self-worth: that’s a key word for you!”

This rebuke from my friend followed one of my regular self-deprecating remarks—words that are usually intended to be humorous, but over the years some friends have come to know me well enough to discern when I really do see myself in that particular negative light.

On this occasion, I had clearly overstepped the mark and needed to be told as much. I’m grateful that I have friends who will do so. However what really caught my attention here was not the fact that I was being rebuked; rather it was the actual wording of the rebuke. It was very nearly correct, but self-worth isn’t so much a key word for me as it is a key question.

As Christians, where do we stand when it comes to self-worth? It seems to be a bit of a paradox.

Take the human race as a whole, for example. In Genesis 1, God made us in His own image and placed us over the rest of His creation—which had been good (vv.4,10,12,18,21,25) in His sight up to that point, but became very good (v.31) when we were added to it! But fast-forward to Romans 3, and we see a really bleak description of the human condition—“There is no-one righteous, not even one” (v.9). So, how should we as a human race view our self-worth?

Let’s try making it a bit more personal. In Psalm 139 I see that God Himself “knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (v.13) and that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (v.14). And in the Gospels I see Jesus, the Son of God, dying on the cross to save me. Why did He have to do that? Because I have twisted what God had knitted together and have failed to be the person He wants me to be. How then should I feel about my own self-worth?

Priceless and yet worthless, both at the same time—that seems to be the biblical paradox of self-worth. And it is neatly summed up in this verse:

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8b

I guess there is a balance to be found somewhere between high and low self-worth, but that balance has eluded me thus far. Unfortunately that means that I don’t have a conclusion to share with you on self-worth itself—but there is a comments section below, so we can discuss it together and see whether we can help one another.

What I will conclude though, is that we need to keep a right esteem of God in perspective. Take a look again at that verse, but in full this time:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
—Romans 5:8

Whatever our own self-worth, God’s worth is immeasurable!

Written By Alan Humphrey for YMI

4 replies
  1. Clover Barker
    Clover Barker says:

    I’d like to be able to forward these articles to others via email, but there seem to be no provision for that. I find the articles very inspirational and would love to pas them on to others who I know would benegit from them.

  2. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    We all need to be reminded of how God sees us – loving us enough to die for us and looking forward to spending eternity with us – what a thought! Couldn’t get an audience with any of the world’s leaders, but the God of the universe wants to spend eternity with me!

    • Alan
      Alan says:

      Hi Cindy,

      Thank you for your comment – I completely agree, it’s an amazing thought!

      On the other hand, it’s made even more amazing in the light of the fact that God wants to spend eternity with us DESPITE our sinful natures and failure to reach His standards – without recognising our lack of self-worth in that respect, it can be difficult to fully grasp the true wonder of how God sees us.

      Once we do, though… wow! And that’s when enthusiasm and encouragement like you provide is great 🙂

      Any other thoughts, folks?

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