Do you struggle with feeling valuable? How about feeling like you are making a difference? The world is so big and yet each of us is so small, do you wonder if/when you will know what your true purpose is or how you will do something to benefit the world?
I will start by saying I think about, ponder on, and wonder about all of these things on a pretty regular basis. I do not have any amazing answers, but I do have some things to share with you. So, those of you who are feeling these things or have in the past, keep reading even though I don’t have an answer for you. I’m fairly certain these questions or some similar are asked by many people no matter their age, profession, experience, etc. Sometimes, I ask/think about them a bit more desperately and sometimes I am simply in a contemplative sort of mind, however I come around to them often enough to take notice.
Throughout my life I have often struggled with feeling valuable and being able to grant myself self worth. At times it can be a daily struggle. This is not because I don’t know I try hard to accomplish things and do what I can to help others, but rather a lack of feeling like I’m good enough. I’ve always been a seeker of knowledge, but without a doubt I always know that someone else inevitably knows more. That is a good thing because there is always more to learn, but I’ve actually internalized it much differently than that rational thought. Instead, in my brain it means I don’t know enough to accurately handle the situation because I am not the expert. I may indeed know more than the person working on the problem, but I don’t know everything. We are not really meant to know everything or else we would not believe we needed Jesus, however we are equally not supposed to devalue ourselves to the point that we don’t believe Jesus equipped us with the ability to handle the situation He has placed before us. Indeed, we can not do it alone, but with Him on our side, He knows our skills and abilities and absolutely has given us all the knowledge, ability, and experience we need to be just where He has placed us. I’m talking to myself here, because knowing is not always the battle. I know all of these things to be 100% true, yet I still struggle with these nasty battles of self worth/value.
Satan would like you to continue to believe those little lies you may hold on to about yourself. You aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, outgoing enough, brave enough, etc., etc. I have been pulled down many times by listening to the devil whisper to me, it’s your fault. If you weren’t there this wouldn’t have happened or if you hadn’t done this thing, that person wouldn’t be in the situation they are now. Yup I’ve been weak enough to give in to these types of accusations and internalize them.
My question when I come to my senses is why am I so vulnerable in this area? Why do I so easily accept these attacks as if they were truth? My Jesus tells me my value is far beyond myself, it is placed not in what I can or can not do, know, experience, learn, etc. but rather it is given directly from God, the Father. He saw me as valuable enough that if I had been the only one to accept Jesus into my heart He would have still sent His son to die on the cross so that I could be reunited with Him in heaven. That is an immeasurable value, so again I ask why, o why, can I be so easily convinced otherwise by the devil? The answer I believe is quite simple.
I know in my head that Jesus loves me and sees value in me, but in my heart I struggle to accept that as fact. I attempt to be a harder judge on myself than anyone else. This started a long long time ago, I think possibly because I figured if I was hard on myself no one else could be worse, essentially a backwards approach to some sort of security/safety. Well, in building this protection, what I effectively did was shun Jesus’s value of my life, saying I needed to be a judge rather than allowing the perfect one to be the judge. Since I am far from perfect and am certainly biased about my own behaviors, actions, thoughts, etc. I am not truly a good judge of my own value. No one can be an accurate judge of their own actions because we see them through our perspective only, which is greatly skewed, sometimes in our favor, other times against us. I tend to lean toward being against myself, scolding myself for not having been smarter, seeing farther, knowing more, etc. In a sense this is accurate because indeed I cannot tell the future or know what will come of a situation or what I will need, etc., but what is important to remember is that because I am a daughter of Christ I do not need to have all of those things to be valuable. I only need those things if I am the one in charge, but truly I am not.
I am easily swayed by the devils leading because He likes to bring up past times when I failed and use them as examples of my need for penance, correction, and failure to learn and improve. Of course, the devil conveniently leaves out any time when Christ was able to use even those miserable failures for His glory, so that my sight continues to drift farther and farther away from Christ’s mercy and value in my life until I can see no reason why anyone would say I had value. Once Satan has me thinking like that, it’s easy to point out things I should/could be doing differently if I intend to lead a life serving the Lord. Showing me these things causes me to sink lower and lower. Eventually, I feel as though nothing I have done could possibly have been worthwhile because there are so many things I did ineffectively, missed, flat out did wrong, or didn’t do at all. At this point, it’s difficult to believe anyone (even those you love and trust) when they say you have done great things for the Lord and they can see He has His hand in your life and has amazing plans for you.
It’s at this point you must make a decision to listen to those you love and trust not to lie to you and try for their sakes to believe what they are telling you until you can believe it yourself, to slink away into a reclusive state where you will indeed make yourself unable to make a difference to the world because you remain isolated from it, or choose something more drastic out of a sense of desperation (this never ends well). If you will stop for a bit and open your heart and mind and pray, the Lord is faithful to meet you in your pit of despair you’ve worked yourself into. He may show you with a friend who embraces you and reminds you of things you’ve done right (that the devil was keeping hidden from your mind), He may send a message of a time when you made an impact that you had no idea you were even touching a person, He may whisper messages of love and acceptance to your heart, or any number of other experiences, for the Lord deals with each of us individually and knows exactly what we need at that moment. The important step here is you must decide to reach out and ask Him because He will not force Himself on you.
I tell you about my own struggle because it is a very real struggle for several. The amount of accomplishments, your age, your career, your stuff, none of that really makes a difference if you don’t believe Jesus’s value for your life. His value is the only true value and it’s the ONLY one that matters! Family, friends, coworkers, and others can have numerous different opinions about your life and will all value you in various ways, but these values are arbitrary, because you, yes YOU are 100% valuable! Your value is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow because your value is not linked to who you are, where you come from, what you do, or what you have! It doesn’t matter if you have a great career, a job (but not one you like), or no job. It doesn’t matter if you think you are doing great things for Christ or just living your life the best you can and really don’t think you are making an impact for Christ.
Let me remind you, no matter where you are, you are a daily example of Christ. I’ve talked to people I was working with, I’ve talked with strangers, I’ve talked with people in church, and I’ve talked with people on a “mission field”, but the important thing is Jesus will use you exactly where you are if you let Him! The whole world is a “mission field” if we are using that term properly, so let’s not forget that wherever you are you are valuable and God will use you if you follow His leading!
This problem doesn’t seem to be addressed very often. We instead talk about not thinking too highly of ourselves and yes there are people who struggle with this, but I find alot more people struggle with feeling they have little or no value. I want to encourage each of you if/when you have moments like this, to stop and ask the Lord to help you focus on Him and His love and value for you. We must give up our thoughts that we need to judge ourselves and each other. The only true and righteous judge is our Father God. None of us are adequate at assessing our own value. In the past, I have been one to encourage others and try to be uplifting as much as possible, I think a big part of my desire to do this has always been because we need reminders that we are valuable. A reminder from someone you love and trust is always a wonderful thing, but we also need to realize if no one says an encouraging word to us, that doesn’t mean we lack value or we haven’t done enough. Our value never changes, but sometimes others are able to see it or are nudged by Jesus to remind us, however, when no one pats you on the back, sees what you are trying to do, or gives you any praise, that doesn’t lesson your value.
As for making a difference or impact on the world, we can do this every single day and may never even know about it! Our job is to be open, submissive, and listening to Christ’s leading and direction. There may be a day when someone sees you handle a difficult situation in a manner they could never dream of, or the person you let get ahead of you in line at the supermarket because you can tell they are in a hurry, or a stranger that saw you buy that burger for the homeless man on the corner, or any number of routine tasks that you never even give a second thought about, but each of these things makes an impact on another person’s life and viewpoint. You may never know who, how many people, or what you did, but let me guarantee you if you are walking with the Lord and have a willing heart to follow where He leads you will make an impact on the world even if the world never knows your name! 🙂 Just remember your value isn’t based on how many tasks you complete, how many people you meet/know, how famous you are, how much stuff you have or places you go, or any other random quantifier you can think of. Your value is given by Jesus and that NEVER changes! 🙂 You can’t do anything to be more or less valuable to Him! What more could you ask for? He already sent the absolute best thing He had for you because He loves you so much! He wanted to show you just how much you are worth to Him, EVERYTHING!
To all of you reading this blog, I hope you know and feel Jesus value washing over your life. If you aren’t sure still, message me and I will pray for you and remind you of His love and your value. To those of you who have lifted me up, when I was ensnared by the devil’s lies I greatly appreciate it and I’m sure from time to time I will need encouragement again, so I will thank you in advance. Be blessed and encourage one another to help ward off the devil’s attacks and remember your value is outside of yourself!