Friend, I know I spend much time writing about worth on this blog, especially lately, but it's because I've spent much time wrestling with it and learning about it. God has taught me much and helped me grow and work towards overcoming my struggle with insecurity and feelings of unworthiness. As He's changed me, He's also called me to share, so that's why I write. And it's also why I speak.
Just the other day after doing the very thing, God continued to teach. Learning truly is life-long!! I'd shared my testimony and about our worth in Christ, which included a glimpse of my struggle with unworthiness. After I shared with a group of Moms we had a little time for discussion. As a mentor Mom shared, God started to instruct.
She said, "As I've grasped a better understanding of who I am in Christ, I'm less likely to judge." She went on to explain our identity can be linked to our depravity and when we know we need Christ just as much as everyone else were less likely to judge them and look down upon them.
Friend, when we know where our worth comes from and have a relationship with the worthy one, we're more likely to live out Matthew 7:5. Here we read Jesus' words, "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." It can be easy to notice other's mistakes, but when we know who (and more importantly whose) we are God will open our eyes to our imperfections as well. A right understanding of our worth will help us deal with them and tender our hearts to move past them. And equip us to be gracious towards others too.
The conversation with others ended as the event came to an end, but God continued it with the thoughts that ran through my mind. When we struggle to understand our worth, we often don't rightly understand others' worth either. We won't like admitting this, but it can cause us to look down on people and judge them wrongly.
This dialogue with God has continued and He's opened my eyes to another problem area in my life that's the result of my misunderstanding of worth. Like I said sometimes this leads to putting others down, but in my case it's led to putting them up. Putting them up on a pedestal where they don't belong and don't want to be.
Growing up, I looked up to my teachers, babysitters, 4-H leaders, and on and on... As an athlete, I dreamed of being the varsity players I watched. I wanted to do what they did. Now having role models, mentors and teachers is a good thing, a necessary thing really. It's even something God addresses in Titus when He instructs the older women to teach the younger women. (Titus 2:3-5) We are to learn from others and respect them too, but my feelings of unworthiness took things to a different level.
I didn't just want to be like these women I looked up to, I wanted to be them. My feelings may have started out as respect for them, but at times they resulted in idolization of them. Ugh, when I think back to how I so wrongly viewed myself and others it makes my stomach turn. I was never good enough and these heroes of mine could do no wrong....at least that's what I thought. Friend, if you find yourself in that place, please know this is wrong thinking...YOU are God's masterpiece (Eph. 2:10) and your hero is one who of the ALL who sins and falls short (Romans 3:23).
Jesus is the worthy One (Rev. 4:11) and He gives us our worth. May we remember to keep Him on the throne! As we do, we'll stay off the stage and let go do of the desire to put others down. And we'll also know not to put others on the pedestal and wrongly lift them up.
My grandma once told me, "Don't ever think you're better than someone else, but remember you're just as good as everyone else." Friend, as we learn about our worth, we also realize others have value. May we remember the people we may be tempted to judge or look down on were bought at the same price as us. (1 Peter 1:18-19) And the ones we look up to and respect? They were bought with the same blood that we were. Let us live lives of humility and walk securely as the one God created us to be. May we encourage others as they try to do the same!