WebDef: Worth

Worth – /wərTH/ – Noun: Intrinsic importance; a quality of having value.

You have value. As infants, we each are born with an inherent sense of worth, the knowledge that we have value in the eyes of God. Unfortunately, life experience sometimes beats healthy self-worth that out of us, replacing it with low self-esteem. Consider what the Bible teaches, about our worth:

Select Bible Verses on Worth

  • I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. – Psalm 139:14.
  • Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. – Matt 10:31
  • We love because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19a
  • If any(one) be in Christ, (s)he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God – Romans 12:2

Addressing Low Self-Worth

Without healthy self-worth, we may decide it doesn't matter how we behave. This can lead to unhealthy behaviors, and a downward spiral. The good news? It's never too late to turn in a healthier direction. An important component of hope-building is to recognize and address this low self-esteem. One way is to look at the Bible's many flawed characters, and recognize the good news that these stories contain. The Bible is chock full of imperfect heroes. So, it stands to reason, that each of us can play a part in God's hero story.

For example, Jacob stole his brother's birthright and blessing, and yet founded a nation; Noah got falling-down drunk [1], yet he saved the remnant of humanity during the great flood; Moses murdered an Egyptian and ran away into the desert, yet he led God's people out of captivity. Even Paul, who had been a murderer of early Christians before his conversion, still complained of his nature afterwards [2], at the same time spreading the Good News throughout the world. All these people all had worth, and were capable of greatness. They all let God act in their life, became instruments of God's peace, and became part of God's big hero story.

Perhaps the best illustration is Jesus' refusal to condemn the woman caught in adultery, and His admonishment that only a person without sin could cast the first stone at her. As the crowd departs, Jesus shows her unmerited love and grace, and calls her to "go and sin no more." The message that the Bible seems to be trying to get through to us, time and again is this: you don't need to be perfect; God already loves you. At the same time, God does call you to try and do better.

When we realize our inherent worth – that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Most High God, that Jesus loves us – then we experience our lives as having new meaning. Hope is reborn. We say "I'm forgiven; God has new grace for me every day; I can start clean today; I'm a beloved child of God." And hope grows. We experience ourselves as valuable human beings, as God's beloved children, and the old ways will tend to fall away naturally. That may be what Paul was getting at, when he talked about being a new creation in Christ.

[1] Genesis 9: Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.

[2] Romans 7: For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…

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WebDefs – simple definitions of key terms relating to ministry and healing arts – are a regular feature of NHM Ministrants. Offered (where applicable) in conjunction with select key scriptural passages and analysis, WebDefs can be a useful starting place for exploring a topic of interest.

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