Five easy steps to grow our self-worth in God
When I was in middle school, my mom was away from home to get further training as a Physician. My dad was busy with work, and he was gone the whole day. I attended school and fed two pigs, dozens of chickens, and myself. My mom praised me in front of her co-workers: my daughter was capable and looked after our entire household! I felt the delight and gratification from my mom. I lifted my head high and said: ‘Yes, I am a capable teenager.’ My mother’s word of affirmation defined my self-worth.
What defines our self-worth?
The standard definition of self-worth in this world is by self, or our accomplishment, our status, money, possessions, fame, or social influence. These external factors cannot meet a person’s needs whose worth comes from their creator. Our true self-worth comes from God, our heavenly Father.
God’s word (either written or spoken) defines our self-worth. Every one of us can hear from God’s word on who we are: You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
Many people do not receive words of affirmation from their parents. They tend to define worth in external things. I did not hear many words of affirmation from my earthly Father or experience the delight from him. My Father did not experience delight from his earthly Father. My Father could not give what he had not experienced. We tend to project our earthly experience unto that with the heavenly Father. When we do not hear words of affirmation growing up, we believe the lies that our heavenly Father is like our earthily Father withholding words of affirmation. The lie that we believe is that Father God is critical, angry, or demanding in some ways like our earthy Father.
What is an example of self-worth?
Jesus has godly self-worth. His self-worth is rooted in His identity as a beloved Son, in whom Father is well pleased. Jesus repeatedly hears the Father’s affirmations: You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased! These affirmations throughout the Bible demonstrate the Father’s delight towards Him. Here are a few verses:
Psalm 2:7 I will proclaim the decree spoken to Me by the LORD: “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.
Matthew 17:5 While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”
Mark 1:11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
Mark 9:7 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him!”
Luke 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in a bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
If Jesus can hear the Father’s delight through His word, so can we. Like Jesus, God’s delight satisfies us, affirms our identity, and solidifies our self-worth.
How do you develop self-worth?
From my personal experience, we can develop our self-worth with our relationship with God.
When I was younger as an atheist, I saw myself as an ugly duckling through the tainted lens I viewed myself. I refused to go to one physical education class during my first year of college. In that class, everyone must wear a swimsuit. I did not even own a swimsuit and never wanted to show that much skin to others. Perhaps I was afraid of the water or ashamed of my body, but I preferred to take the penalty for missing that class than showing myself in a swimsuit.
During the first 15 years of becoming a believer, I saw myself as a servant. Then, my self-worth is no longer an ugly duckling, no longer a dutiful servant, but a precious daughter of God. My self-worth grows with my relationship with God.
Here are five steps that I take to grow my self-worth in God:
Step #1 Hear God’s voice
My husband and I often share what we hear from God. He always hears: You are my beloved. I am pleased with you. On the other hand, I did not hear anything for a long time. As I grow in my relationship with God, I hear God saying who I am more and more: You are precious, you are loved, you are a trailblazer.
Step #2 Ground our identity as a child of God within an intimate relationship with God
We tend to identify giftings, callings, or influence as self-worth in the Christian circle. While we are busy fulfilling God’s calling and assignments, we forget our self-worth as a child of God. Being a child of God is being at ease without striving to prove our self-worth because we have it. Being a child of God is to have confidence in God’s provision, power, plan, and purpose in fulfilling His promises in our lives and through us for His kingdom.
Step #3 Align our self-view with God’s view of ourselves
Gideon saw himself as” I am the least in my Father’s house.” God sees him as a “valiant warrior” (Judges 6:12). His view of himself became more and more aligned with how God saw him—a mighty man of valor—as he obeyed God’s voice. With an army of only three hundred men, Gideon defeated the multitudes of Midianites by blowing trumpets and shouting around the enemy’s camp. It was amazing (taken from the Lens of Love).
Step #4 Replace other people’s view of me with God’s view of me
For those who care greatly about what other people think of them, you will need to break off the fear of men. As we focus on winning people’s approval, we may have lost our self-worth in God.
Step #5 Meditate on God’s affirmations and receive His delight
My go-to identity verse is 1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” I often hear the small still voice of God: you are my beloved, you are my bride, and you are precious and significant in me.
If you desire to grow your self-worth in Christ through hearing God’s voice, you can access my coaching program PART 1 – Hearing God’s Voice.
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