(Part 1 of 4)
Self-Worth Definition: A sense of one's own value as a human being.
You might be wondering what is the difference between self-worth and self-esteem. I’d like to share this great Ted Talk with you all about self-worth. 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 is not tied to anything you have done or have not done, it’s not based on any condition. It is not founded on your social standing, your career, your marital status, your good or bad deeds, your purity, etc. Your self-worth is knowing that you are a daughter of the King of kings. Period.
You are worthy because you are a child of God! Worthy of an extremely rewarding and fulfilling life that leads you to eternal glory.
You might be thinking that you’re not worthy because of your past mistakes or imperfections. I have news for you: no one is perfect, we are all sinners. St. Paul even 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 a worth in us and loves us to the point of death, then how dare 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 my purity. So every time I fell into temptation and defied my purity I felt like I was worthless. Maybe it was an idea I got from cultural teachings, but it was an incorrect teaching indeed. God’s love for me is never affected by my sins. No matter what I have done, He always wants me to repent and turn back to Him. Don’t be so worried over 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 yourselves from the source of life and lose sight of your true worth.
If we really 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 many times do we find ourselves in an unhealthy relationship because we are looking for attention and trying to bandage the deep wounds we have of thinking we are not good enough? Ladies, this is such a dangerous thing we have to be careful not to fall into. (This post has more on this temptation).
I know how hard it can be in this day in age to see how valuable and worthy we really are. When the world is bombarding us with messages of how thin we need to look and how perfect we need to 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.There is a great book I read a long time ago that talks about how the heart matters more than anything else in all creation, and the beauty behind how God designed women. Check out “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul” by John and Stasi Eldredge if you are looking for a deeper understanding on this subject.
Girls, you have to know that you are enough! Repeat that as many times as you need to in order to engrave it in your mind. “I am enough!” You don’t need to add anything to yourself to be good enough. Of course you should still pursue your dreams and goals, but whether you achieve them or not, you are still enough. Adia Gooden says in the Ted Talk, “Cultivate unconditional self-worth by shedding the belief that you are not good enough.”
Let us all pray for each other and encourage each other to get to know Him more, because that's the only way we get to understand our true self-worth. See yourself through His eyes! Work on seeing and believing you are worthy, unconditionally.
This is the first post in a four part series about seeing the greatness in ourselves.
Part 2 - Intentional Self-Love
Part 3 - Achievable Self-Esteem
Part 4 - Lovable Self-Image