Friday, November 08, 2013

A Question You're Probably Not Asking Yourself - But Should

"What in your life provides you the most self-worth?"

That's a powerful question. I heard a ton of answers tonight in a class called The Story of God. As I write I'm wondering how much we even ask the question. In today's culture I think it is assumed that we are valuable. I get that from the massive amount of pop songs that are about how valuable the singer is despite those in their lives that make them feel otherwise. Take Katy Perry. Her new, freakin' catchy JAM, "Roar" (a JAM that my wife insists she has on our playlist for labor JAMs) has these lyrics as the chorus:

I've got the eye of the tiger
A fighter
Dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion
And you're gonna hear me roar
oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
(and it goes like that)

This becomes the anthem of tweens and women everywhere. And as much as dudes don't want to admit it, I'm sure many of those cats are singing that JAM in the shower, pretending like the don't like it all the while shadowboxing and dreaming about how awesome they really are.

It's back to self-worth.

It is assumed. But is the question ever asked? The lyrics don't serve so much as a reminder of self-worth as they do an attempt to convince herself that she does have worth and value in the face of rejection by someone who, on some level, doesn't think so. Thus the key poetic line in the whole song, I went from zero, to my own hero.

I think the song strikes a chord with millions of people who are trying to figure out how to prove their self-worth because they know that it exists somehow. But, if you're tracking with me, I'm questioning whether we ever question where we go for our self-worth. Is it a relationship? Your husband or wife? Is it your sexuality? Your politics? Is it your job? Is it your craft? Is it your gifting? Is it your family? Your kids? Your success? Your money? Is it the ever popular, "look within yourself?" Do you ask where you find your self-worth and, if you do ask it, do you ever ask if it is enough?

What if self-worth can't be sustained in any of those things? What if we come to realize that we are stuck because in most cases we are trying to find our self-worth in something or someone that's trying to do the exact same thing? What if it is given to you by a means defined by someone else and carries more weight and sustainability than any other answer we can provide? In a world of despair, pain, anger, sorrow, shame, hate, greed, envy, jealousy, and a longing for acceptance and approval, what if self-worth was provided by Someone who had nothing to prove to anyone, but just chose to make you valuable regardless of what you did or didn't do?

So I'm boldly asking the question and daring you to answer, "what in your life provides you the most self-worth?"

By His Grace.


  1. ok, been giving this some thought and first wanted to share an article I copied in my little quest for reflection on this theme I found much of it beneficial.
    Self worth is mostly what makes me feel good about myself. Although the answers I give might not always be true every moment of every day, for the most times they are.

    First is my relationship to myself. I like myself, I am healthy, and happy and energetic and I enjoy myself. I make mistakes because I am human, but most times can laugh at it, learn from my mistakes and move on.

    My life, is the path I have chosen with the people I chose to have in my life. The people that surround me are caring, kind people who treat me with respect as I do them. My work is secondary in my life although it consumes much of my time, but through my work I also am given the opportunity to arrange it so that my priorities which are my family and myself remain the PRIORITY.

    My family is the people in my life given to me by God's grace. God has gifted us with two truly beautiful, kind and caring children that mean more to me than one can imagine.

    Friends are the family you choose and luckily for me, I have picked winners! Once again, beautiful, kind,caring and honest.

    These are what I have nurtured through the years, and like the "mustard seed" has grown into a beautiful tree.

    So yes, I have self worth because I am surrounded by all these things of value i.e. people that nurture me so that I can continue to nurture them and we can continue to grow beautiful and strong.

  2. Hey Linda,
    Thanks again for engaging with me on the blog! That is super awesome.

    Thanks too for the honest response. I appreciate you asking the question honestly and seeing what answers crop up. I, personally, have always had a hard time going to myself to find worth because I am the one who is asking the question. Does that make sense? It's like asking a dollar, "where do you find your value?" The dollar can't respond, "I find it in me" because the value of a dollar isn't in the dollar itself. The dollar is backed by something that says it's that value. While we aren't currency, I think there's something to the reality that our self-worth is provided outside of us, not within us as much of what new age spirituality wants us to believe. You mentioned, "my family is the people in my life given to me by God's grace." Could it be that our self-worth is determined not first by our relationship with ourselves, which is important, but our relationship with God because he, like gold for a dollar, is the one who gives us worth? The Bible talks about how we are created in God's image. That doesn't mean we are divine like him, but have character traits like him. Elsewhere it says that in his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures evermore. Could it be that our worth, joy, & pleasure is determined by who God is, how we know him, and what he says about how we ought to live our lives? It sounds crazy in our day and age, but what if God isn't how we determine him to be, but we are how God determines us to be?

    What do you think?