(Part 1 of 4)
Self-Worth Definition: A sense of one's own value as a human being.
What is the difference between self-worth and self-esteem? This Ted Talk answers that question we are all wondering. The speaker defines the difference as the following:
"Self-esteem is derived from our abilities, accomplishments, social positions and things we believe we can achieve. We can bolster our self-esteem by improving our skills or performance, and our self-esteem goes up and down depending on how we are doing in various aspects in our lives. In contrast, unconditional self-worth is distinct from our abilities and accomplishments. It's not about comparing ourselves to others. It's not something we can have more or less of. Unconditional self-worth is the sense that you deserve to be alive, to be loved and cared for, to take up space."
Unconditional self-worth doesn't depend on anything you have done or have not done. Self-worth isn't based on your social standing, career, marital status, good or bad deeds, purity, etc. Your self-worth comes from knowing your value as a child of the King of kings.
You are worthy because you are a beautiful creation made by the ultimate Creator! Worthy of an enriching and fulfilling life that leads to eternal glory.
You might think you're not worthy because of your past mistakes or imperfections. No one is perfect; we are all sinners. St. Paul says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). All our past, current, and future sins did not stop Christ from dying for us. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8). We are so valuable that it was none other than the precious blood of Christ that was able to redeem us. If the almighty God Himself sees worth in us and loves us to the point of death, then how can we not see that worth in ourselves?!
I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I lose sight of my self-worth when I sin over and over again, especially when I was younger, and thought that my self-worth was equivalent to how well I followed the rules. So every time I fell into temptation, I felt like I was unworthy. Maybe it was an idea I got from cultural teachings, but it was incorrect. God's love for me is never affected by my sins. No matter what I have done, He always wants me to repent and return to Him.
Don't worry about your "reputation" or what people think of you. God's grace has a beautiful and mysterious way of covering up your flaws and allowing people to see the good in you. I wish I could give you exact examples of how He has done this in my life, but that would be too personal for this blog, so just trust me on this one.
Next time you question your self-worth, remember how valuable you are as a child of God. Remember that you are only human, and humans sin and make mistakes, but that never takes away from your worth or disqualifies you from being His child. It's only when you reject Him and His Holy Spirit that you detach yourself from the source of life and lose sight of your true worth.
If we understood our self-worth, it would help us fight our demons. Especially the temptation of looking for love and validation from the wrong people. How often do we find ourselves in an unhealthy relationship because we are looking for worth in the wrong place? We are trying to cover up the wounds caused by thinking we are not good enough. We must be careful not to fall into this because it can be dangerous.
I know how hard it can be in this day and age to see how valuable and worthy we are. When the world is bombarding us with messages of how perfect we need to look and act, it can be challenging to see beyond that. We're mistaken if we tie our self-worth to anything outwardly.
Our God is a God of hearts and He sees beyond the surface. "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7). So instead of spending so much time obsessing over our physical attributes, let's focus on our hearts.
Let us all pray for each other and encourage each other to get to know Him better because that's the only way we can understand our true self-worth. See yourself through His eyes! Work on seeing and believing you are worthy, unconditionally.