One of the biggest trends that is in the current forefront of culture is the idea of understanding yourself. We take tests, read books, listen to TED Talks all about looking at the “self” and revolving your life around what makes you tick. I know I’ve done many of these tests and listened to books. We have Strength Finders which gives you your top personality traits, for example mine are responsibility, strategic, developer, restorative, and individualization (So, like, please hire me). Then there’s the Myers Briggs test (INFJ, woot woot), there are tons of EQ (Emotional Intelligence) tests, and the current trend in the Enneagram (I’ve yet to take one). All of these tests to help us know, us. Why then do we struggle with finding our personal value? I think it’s a combo of self-doubt and words that have been spoken over us. One of the most annoying things I’ve had to deal with is the question of “what do you want to do?” My answer, and it’s always been my answer, is that I just want to be in full time ministry. Yet, over and over, people who have asked this of me, “forget,” or like to remind me just how hard ministry is. Like, yeah, I know how hard it is, my parents have been hurt in staffing positions twice now, and even myself have dealt with rejection. That’s the way I think about responding in my shower talks, you know, the conversations you wish you would have but it only comes out in the shower. What really happens is I get frustrated and then internalize the lack of care I think people should have.
I begin to forget my true worth.
Over and over we take tests to know how unique we are, but a simple conversation can have us doubt our worth and calling.
Why do we keep doing this? I think the core fact is that we have our identity purely rooted in ourselves. That’s not entirely bad. You were designed uniquely and with a purpose, the thing you can’t forget is who you were made in the image of. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” I like how the verse hits you over the head a bit by telling you this. In case you didn’t read the first part, here are two other parts to get the point across. The funny part is, I forget this verse. As I’m sure you have noticed the past few blogs, and on Instagram, and on twitter, I’ve been struggling with my identity. I’ve been mad at God, I’ve been mad at people, and I’ve been mad at the situations I’ve been put in. I’m tired of being mad. I lost my identity in Christ and in myself, and put it in the worth others gave me.
I’m not doing that anymore.
I am choosing to be who God made me to be, putting my trust in who my identity is founded in, in the image of my God.
Your worth is found in the love of Christ.
Overly churchy people frustrate me. They love putting standards of perfection on an imperfect world. We’ve all got issues, but the only person who was perfect and had any right to judge others, was Jesus, but instead of judgement to an unreachable standard, he loved. He didn’t want you to live in your sin, so he chose to die for you, taking all your mess and making it new. He died and rose again to defeat sin. The crazy part is, he doesn’t force anything on you, he gives you to full choice to have a relationship with you. Your worth is found in the love of Jesus’ sacrifice to save you. My worth is not found in what I do or what people say, it’s not worth it to give what I produce or the people around me more power than the love of Jesus. Stay rooted in that true love, don’t let this imperfect world bring you down. Choose a relationship with a God who has been fighting for you the whole time.
You are uniquely designed to be you.
You have been created in the image of God, meaning that youare as unique as God, filled with talents and abilities that make you who you are. You don’t have to be like another person in order to have value. Your life has value because God made you. Take those tests, discover the uniqueness of your creation so that you can fully live into the person you were designed to be. You don’t need to be affirmed by anyone in order to know that you are valued. This is the power of self-respect. There’s a great moment in one of my favorite movies, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, where at the end of the movie he learns the power of self-respect and decides to stand up for himself, it’s a pretty great moment. We ourselves need to stand up and know that you have value, you don’t need anyone else to affirm who God says you are. Discover who God has designed to be, and know that you are loved.
If there’s a key takeaway from what I’ve been talking about, it’s this, you are worthy of God’s incredible love. You are not your mistakes or your achievements, you are God’s masterpiece and he wants you to choose this relationship with him. When the thoughts of you not being enough, or when someone makes a comment telling you how you should be, remember that you are made in God’s image. You do not need to listen to the voices in your head or the voices of others, you are made in God’s image and your life has value. Know your worth, because God created you.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__