how much are you worth
How do you see yourself?
One of the biggest struggles people have is to do with self esteem, or self worth. I have not met too many people who don't struggle with this issue at some point in their lifetime. Every one of us has a skewed view of themselves. No-one can have an anbsolutely perfect self esteem, but it is possible to have a really healthy one. If you read on, I have a clue for you, that will be a great way to help heal you if you are "suffering".
Do you suffer from low self esteem? Are you mostly OK, but really touchy, or insecure, in some areas? You are not alone. So many people go through life wounded. Emotionally scarred. Defeated. Bad attitudes. These can all manifest themselves in many ways, including addictions. Now I don't limit addictions to just substance abuse. It can be such things as negativity, anger, depression, obesity, fear etc. You may not even make the connection between them.
Origins of self esteem
We all develop a value system for our lives as we grow up. It comes from many sources like parents, siblings, environment, teachers, friends, bosses, work collegues etc. The list is almost endless. It seems that we draw perspectives and conclusions from these sources that are built up in stages untill an effective "image" is attained within our deepest souls. This self image, is then implemented as a filter, through which we examine everything in our daily life, and respond accordingly.
If you have a good, strong self esteem, you will not fall apart if someone criticises you for any reason. Alternatively, if you have a low, or unhealthy self worth, you will dismiss a compliment, no matter how genuinely it was intended, or given. I remember my wife, for years, could not accept compliments I gave her. She'd shrug it off as patronising or flattery (both perceived negatively). It was so hard for her to just accept it, and say "thank you." It is not a problem today, but this didn't happen overnight. You see, she never got that growing up. She was always told how she did this wrong, or that wrong. The words "I love you" were absent in the family. Positive affirmations were foreign concepts to her.
Now, I don't pick on her, pretending I was all together myself. I was weak in other areas. I had a reasonable amount of affirmation growing up, but I felt more intimidated by others abilities. Whenever someone did things better than what I could do, I felt a failure, or inferior. It has taken years to figure this out, and be confident enough to change. But change is possible. It is also known as "growing" as a person. We all want to grow, don't we? Trouble is, many of us don't know how, or are not willing to do the (hard) work. It takes effort to undo, or should I say RE-do all those years worth of wrong image building.
But just as it took many, many small situations to put together the composite we now live with, it will take many steps to replace those image components. It's a bit like removing one brick at a time, and replacing it with another, untill the whole wall is made up of new bricks. Now, don't blame anyone for your current inner image. Yes others had a part to play. Yes they may have hurt you. Yes they may have done terrible wrong. But, it was, and is still, your response to these that made you what you are, and what you will be.
The foundation must be good.
For any new house to stand the weathering, it has to have a good foundation. Many will have heard of the parable Jesus taught on this very topic. The house I am referring to is the NEW self image you will build of yourself. It is NOT Mission, Impossible. It is Mission POSSIBLE. BUT th foundatio must be strong. What is that foundation? It is a core belief you must hold FIRST. I say first, because if you try to build without this being established, you will spend a lot of time and energy, only to lose ground when adversity comes. So, what is this foundation?
It is the REAL value that you have. Do you remember the great Westerns of old? Often they would have a poster with a price on ones head. "WANTED. Dead or Alive" and then a sum of money. In effect, that's what these people were "worth". That's the value society, or the justice system, placed on these individuals. So what price would your "head" fetch? That depends on who's wanting you, and how badly they want you.
You know what I found out in life? An item for sale is not worth what the seller thinks it is, but what the buyer is willing to pay. In this instance, you are the item, and who is the buyer? Society is. They determine what you are worth. But are you worth more? I believe you are, and so am I. I found out ages ago what my real wroth is, and it may surprise you to know what it is. Society is not usually willing to pay very much for you or me, but God is. He, as the buyer, knows exactly what you are worth to Him, and it is nothing short of IMMESURABLE.
The Bible tells me that I have been "bought (redeemed) with a PRICE". 1 Peter 1;18-19 tells me what that price is. It is the "Blood of Jesus Christ". The life of the etrenal Son, was shed for the "mortal" or lost son. God could have used silver and gold, but we are worth much more to Him that that.If you have trouble believing that, remember the parable of the pearl fo great price, or the treasure found in the field. In both cases the merchant (a picture of God) sold all that he had, in order to "redeem" the treasure/pearl.
Friend, if God puts that value on my (head) life, who am I to de-value myself? Who are you to de-value yourself? At this point I could go on and on about the Gospel message, but I want you to absorb just this one point. It will revolutionise your life. This foundation will be so strong in your life that you can confidently build on it, with full assurance that what you build will not fall down. Nor will it be torn down by anyone.
How to build
It may take some time to come to gripswith the implications of the above truth. For some it will be a concept that blows your mind (at first). I suggest you take it in, accept it, and "own" it. By that I mean, make it a part of who you are. If ever you are challenged about your self worth, just remind yourself that youe are worth "the blood of Jesus". In other words, you are worth as much as Jesus is worth to God. That was the price He paid FOR you. I hope you are getting this.
The next step(s) from here are incremental. By that I mean, you can start to pinpoint areas of weakness in your self image,and proceed to discover what God has to say about it (about you). Then take what He says, and replace what "they" said with what HE says. I highly recommend that you find every scripture that states in one way or another "who, or what you are IN Chris Jesus". It is easy to look these up if you have a software version of the Bible. Or you can go to a website that has the Bible available, with searchable features. Just type in the words "in Christ" or "in Jesus" or "in Him". If you have never done this, it will blow your mind.
Just one example is, if you feel you have an "I can't do..." attitude, you would find where the Bible says that "I (you) can do ALL things through Christ Jesus Who strengthens me" Phil.4;13