Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions. (Airing daily on Hope 103.2 and Inspire Digital at 9am)
The story is told of an old Jewish rabbi who entered hospital for an operation. He checked in and got ready. Just before he was to be operated on, his surgeon came to give him a final medical check. Speaking in another language, the doctor said to his assistant, “OK, well let’s get started on this worthless fellow”.
Trouble was the old Jewish rabbi spoke the language and heard every word. Very quickly he said, “Would you call someone who has been made in God’s image worthless?” It was a good answer. And I have a feeling there are many today who feel useless and worthless. But that is wrong thinking. It’s just the mind playing tricks—trying to mislead a person into harmful thinking.
We are all people of immense worth, regardless of age, background or social status in life. Here’s the issue: we often base our worth on what others think about us—how they view us. If we think they don’t approve of me, then I suppose I’m not worth much. But if someone else thinks I’m OK, then I must be OK. But how realistic is this? But here’s the problem. Others’ views and opinions change. They can be wrong—and who made them the judge over me anyway?
Don’t Set Yourself for Failure
It’s about finding your own self-worth. It’s a shame—but our world today is full of pervasive negative messages which damage our self-worth: I’m too fat, too thin, undesirable, stupid, or I’m ‘damaged goods. My family may have said, You’ll never amount to anything. Growing up in an abusive family can affect the way we feel. If you’ve lived with someone who makes you feel terrible about yourself, those destructive thoughts can stay with you a long time. It’s a tearing down that causes much unhappiness.
I’m sure we have to look at life from a different perspective. Don’t set yourself up for failure and despair. Set some goals—even small ones—which are achievable. One of our greatest needs is to feel valuable—that your life somehow matters, that you are worthwhile. Try and base your thinking on what God thinks of you, rather than what others think.
An American tourist was in Paris on holiday and visited a trinket shop. He bought a cheap amber necklace. But on arrival back home in New York, he had to pay a high duty. He was quite shocked, and curious. He went to get it valued. The jeweller said, I’ll give you $25,000 for it. Another surprise: he went to another place to get a second valuation—I’ll give you $35,000. How come?—he was astonished. So the jeweller gave him the magnifying glass and there was the inscription, From Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine. No wonder it was priceless. The necklace value came from its identification with a famous person.
We Are Made in God’s Image
Likewise, God has his image printed all over you. You belong to him and you are immensely valuable. God doesn’t make worthless things—he makes priceless things like human beings. Robert Schuller once said, “You do have self-esteem, a sense of dignity and worth, because you were made in God’s image”. Similar to the old catchphrase, God made me and God don’t make no junk.
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Then Bible is full of statements that confirm this truth. We read in the Old Testament:
- ”You are the one who put me together inside my Mother’s body” (Psalm 139)
- “The Lord will lead you – He will always be with you” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- “God cares for you. So turn all your worries over to Him” (1 Peter 5:7).
By allowing God’s truth into your life, you will be transformed. You can let go of past shame and focus on today and tomorrow with trust in Almighty God who tenderly loves and cares for you. Then your self-worth is built on the solid foundation of a God who never changes.
God’s Word in Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love”. No wonder Josh McDowell’s statement helps so many. He wrote: “A healthy self-image is seeing yourself the way God sees you—no more, no less.”
The gifted theologian Karl Bath was once asked, What is the greatest thought you ever had? Without hesitation he said, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so”. You are special and unique because Jesus loves you and died on the cross for your sins. He is working in you, refining you, preparing you for eternity. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. You are more valuable than a whole flock of sparrows” (Luke 12:7).
God is closer to us than we realise. He knows your story and he has specific plans for your life. That means clearly no-one is useless. Why? Because you have an important purpose in this life. There is, therefore, no need to feel worthless.