“What do you mean it won’t fit me?! It says right here it’s my size.” “The hanger is mismarked, honey. The tags on the jacket say it’s too small.” “Why do they do that? The hanger says one thing. The tags say another! How do you know what size really is? Well, at least I know how much it costs. Says right here on the price tag.” “No, honey. It’s on sale for 50% off AND I have a coupon. So, no, the price tag is not telling the truth either.” “Uhhh…I give up! How am I supposed to know what’s true?”
This was my sweet Hubby and I at the department store shopping for a suit.
Those confusing price tags and hanger-tags were useless in determining what the jacket’s true nature or worth really was. Poor Hubby! Just when he thought he had it figured out, he’d find yet another misleading label. How’s a person supposed to figure the worth of anything on his own if the tags are all wrong?
I use this shopping trip trauma to exemplify a topic I have wrestled with for most of my years. What determines my worth? Or should I say self-worth? Here is where I run into trouble most of the time. I tend to invest in these indicators: How well I perform and what other people think or say about me. I don’t know about everybody else, but for me, that hasn’t really worked out so well.
How about you? What’s your go-to when you try to measure your own self-worth? As a spouse? As an employee? Even just as a human being?
Hence, the point of the shopping story: What price tags or markers do you believe determine your value?
I bet you have observed that our culture has some messed up ideas when it comes to deciding who is good enough and who is not…
The color of a person’s skin.
The number on a scale.
How much money you make.
And the list goes on.
I am not that different, really. I have bought into some pretty twisted ideas of how to determine my own self-worth. But that began to change a few years ago when I read a book called “Search For Significance” by Robert S. McGee. As I studied, I realized there was an untruth that I have been readily believing most of my life. It goes like this:
HOW WELL I PERFORM + WHAT OTHERS THINK OF ME = MY SELF-WORTH.
Looks a little like a math problem from first grade, right? This + That =You.
And that’s probably about the age I started to believe that how well I did my job, whatever that might be, and what others thought or said about me, determined what worth I had…or didn't have.
Try this is out. The next time you find yourself feeling embarrassed, humiliated, ashamed or less-than others, do a little internal investigating. Ask yourself if this started when you thought you had failed or made a mistake (how I perform). Did you worry that others would think less of you now? And did that effect how you see yourself, even a little bit?
Today, I want to free you from that lie; Your worth is determined by this one Truth:
(Say it with me, now)
WHO CHRIST IS + WHAT HE DID + WHY HE DID IT FOR ME = MY SELF-WORTH
That’s the measure of who you are right there. The worldly price tags and labels are not correct. When it comes to our value, God measures our worth on His performance, not ours.
Several years ago, I was leading a group of teens on a Mission trip and on the first night, a few students were to give their testimonies. Sarah was the shyest and the last to speak. I stood up as if to introduce her, like I had the rest but instead, I forgot her and closed us in prayer. Sarah looked so confused and hurt! I felt mortified to have done that to her, feeling ashamed and stupid. That’s the first time I realized that I was letting “the lie” determine my self-worth instead of looking to Christ for my identity. I started then to ask if Christ would ever say this about me. Again….NO!
The Apostle Paul agrees. Here’s what he wrote to confirm that: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ( Romans 5:8)
Don’t miss the Truth in that, friend. Christ, Son of God and Savior (“Who Christ is”), gave His life for each of us (“What He did”) to reveal God’s love for us (“Why He did it for me”). If God doesn’t consider how I perform or what others think of me when considering if I was worth that sacrifice, why would I keep doing that?
God declares that we are precious, valuable and worthy of giving His life for. I want to listen and live that way.
That is our new truth, friend! This mind-blowing, eye-opening, change-how-I-see-myself truth. Leave behind all those useless “price tags” and live free in the understanding that you are loved, valued, priceless and precious to God. And that’s the truth!