The other day my sister in law told us that she found a tree right down the end of her yard that she didn’t even know she had. When she investigated further she noticed something was growing on it … hello Macadamia nuts! When she told me that story I thought how often in life do we not know that we have something valuable and how much we overlook who we really are. Do you know that you may have something valuable that can be shared with others? What stops us from seeing that value we have?
I believe that the answer is not a simple one but a great percentage of people I have met cannot see their value because they believe lies about themselves. The last time you made a mistake did you slam your fist into the table and scream obscenities at yourself. If you did, did you know that you are making yourself believe that you are worth the abuse? You are saying to yourself, ‘Gee I am totally stupid and worthless aren’t I? I guess that I couldn’t run an automated pig farm?’ Think about what you say during a day and make a thought diary.
How do you do this? Well its simple really find a notebook and write down what you think you are every time you say it. There’s a key. We often don’t realise that we are telling ourselves what our real value is everyday of our life when we say it. A principle that most people overlook is this: whether you know it or don’t what you think you are comes from a deep well of underlying ideas that grow inside you. How do you they grow? They grow because we feed them by recognising the value they have by speaking to it.
Knowing your value starts with understanding where you draw your values from. The first thing you need to know is what am I worth? This is not a financial question that you answer by opening up your wallet and taking a look at how much cash you have. Your sense of self-worth does not come from the things you own because if it does you are much emptier than you know. True self-worth comes by recognising that you are not worthless that you have some value. Knowing your value means knowing that you are valuable. How can you really know this?
You know who you are not by what you do but by who you are. Some people attach their identity to what they do. Some people attach their identity to their social standing and the clubs they join. The bottom line is: those things are poor substitutes for the sad truth that people are missing something that they really need. A sense that they don’t need anything to prove their own worth. All they need is to know that they are accepted.
As a Christian you have this right. Service and the things you do make no difference and the influential friends that you hold dear to you are all there to make you feel better about something that you lack. Inside you there is a belief system that says: I need something to make me feel adequate. I need money to feel as if I am somebody… I need a lot of friends because if I need people around me to keep me up or whatever it might be.
For me, a key problem was always trying to prove myself to others to make myself feel like they liked me. I would do extraordinary things to try and get people to like me. I would buy them things, do extra work for them and whatever came to mind to try and make these people think that I had value. What I didn’t realise was that I was trying to buy friends by making them like me. I could make people like me and I could do things that would make me look superior but on the inside I was empty and hollow because I knew (as I imagine you do if you are reading this) that I was totally empty. Sure I had people around me to feel sorry for me or boost me up which helped but the real problem was I thought I didn’t have any value. I needed these people in my life to give me value. The truth is your value comes from something much deeper than that. As a Christian your value comes from God.
In the world’s way of doing things we con ourselves into believing that we are worth something by playing games. We play all kinds of games. At work we climb over people because we think we need to have that next level to feel successful or we talk down to people who are not as ‘affluent’ as us because we think they are inferior. Why would we do that? We do it because we have a deep down need to feel like we have value. The problem is: you already have value.
The bible tells us that Jesus Christ lives with us (2 Cor 6:16) and that he has accepted us (Eph 1:3). If we believe that this is true then what else really matters? Jesus also said that the cares of this world choke the fruitfulness of God’s word in our lives (Mark 4:17-19). It would be easy for me to say, ‘brush them aside and focus on Jesus.’ However, this is easier said than done.
Beginning to recognise your value
Knowing your value starts when you realise this: God loves me unconditionally. Allow the thought that he loves you without any reason to settle in you. Think about it by running the thought through your mind everyday. Whenever you are tempted to think or say something terrible do this: point to yourself and say I am totally accepted by God. So what if people don’t like you… a bunch of people don’t like me. But I am not able to be rejected. You can reject the way I look, what I might say but you cannot reject me because I am not able to be rejected. If at heart I am accepted in Jesus Christ this means I can never be unaccepted. If I am totally settled in that knowledge and people reject me for whatever reason all I need to know is that he loves and accepts me totally.
This kind of knowledge does not come overnight like so many false promises of modern teachings tell us. You grow into this kind of knowledge. But it begins with you making the right decision right now by saying, “I am worth something… God accepts me and loves me unconditionally.” Add your spiritual faculties to this: begin believing it in your heart. Find an imaginative way to attach pleasure to the thought.
After a while you will begin to notice three things:
- You are constantly devaluing yourself
- The thoughts of love coming from you are true real feelings coming from God
- There is nothing else that matters once you know that he accepts you
Now, I am not telling you that instantly you will feel better. Shy away from instant solutions. If they do work it’s only for a little while then you have to go back and put something else in its place. Find a scripture from the bible on what God thinks about you and say it every morning and every night when you go to bed. Think about it on a daily basis. Now I have not perfected this but from doing this I have stopped so many negative beliefs from arising up in my soul. I hope that you do practice what I have said here today by at least attempting to:
- Recognising how you value yourself
- Replacing that with a Godly way of seeing yourself
By doing this consistently and thinking about how God thinks about you, you will begin to see yourself as he does. You will see yourself as loved and accepted, totally forgiven and washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. If you don’t see yourself as God does, then you are probably seeing yourself as others do or worse as the enemy does. Grace teaches us that we are accepted, that we are not condemned that we are loved. Start today. Start right now: you are accepted, you are loved. Remember this: if you don’t attach value to you then nobody else will.
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