Giving and Receiving Worth

If you have read some of my recent posts you will notice that there are times when I have a feeling a low self worth.  This is born out of a frustration of recognizing I am not the person I want to be – and at times a long way off from that.

I am not the first to feel this way.  See what Paul says in Rom 7:21-25:

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[a] a slave to the law of sin.

 

I recognize the hand of the enemy at work during these moments because he wants to make me ineffective and, if he can, even destructive to the work of God. He does not hesitate to remind me of my failures and how unworthy I am.  And of course, it is a half-truth.  I do have many failures and I am unworthy of God’s mercy.  But that is not the point is it?  I often need to be reminded that I am covered in the blood of Jesus (through my belief) and therefore completely washed clean of my sin.  God sees me “hidden in Christ”.  He no longer sees the sin – it as though it is as far as the east is from the west.  So that takes care of both my failures and unworthiness.  Then add to that I am adopted into the family of God – I am a child of God.  Chosen!  Destined!  Sent!  I just need to humble myself and make myself available.  But I also need to take on and accept that God really does love me!  That He really does accept me as I am AND that He loves me so much that He wants to make me more like Himself.  Wow!  What a privilege.

It is so important that we are honest about our failures.  If we hide them then we are pretending we don’t have any and other people will not be able to see the full work of salvation in our lives.  My failures speak of my need for salvation.  My faith then speaks of my trust in God, His love and His redeemed and refining purposes for my life.

However, that is not the point of this post!  It is simply the reason why I started thinking about giving worth.

Where do we get our sense of self-worth from?  When we speak of worth we speak of value.  So, to put it another way, where do we get our sense of how much others value us and thus how much we might then value ourselves?

It’s an important question.  It’s important because it should force us to be honest. Whose voice do we listen to the most?

How much do the people in school or college/university value me?

How much do the people in my team value me?

How much do the people in my work value me?

How much does my spouse value me?

How much do my family value me?

I have broken out these questions so that we might think through them one by one.

Because whenever we ask “how much does X value me?”, we are also asking, “and what can I do to increase that?”.  We might not put it in to these precise words but I am sure that is what we so often do ask ourselves.  It plays a great importance in our sense of self-worth.  We might then need to consider, “what am I willing to do so that X will value (love) me more?”

The situations that caused me to have such a low self-esteem were those in which I may have humiliated myself in front of people who are important to me.  I may also have inadvertently hurt them in some way.  They are certainly not situations I am proud of.  That then leads to my frustration in myself.

So how do I deal with this?

The answer lies in recognizing how much importance I place on what people think of me.  I think you know where this is going, but before I get there, it’s really important that we don’t undervalue what people think of us either!

I need to place the most importance in what God thinks of me.  This has to be my starting point.  That does not mean I don’t value what others think of me, but it has to be put in perspective.  And interestingly, my starting point for taking on what God thinks of me is not to ask that question but rather to give Him his worth!

I need to start with worshiping God.  I can best worship God by recognizing who He is and what He is like.  The bible tells so much of that but there are also great worship songs out there that do the same.  I would also hope that being among God’s people in church does the same!

He is faithful, loving, kind, generous, swift to bless, slow to anger, almighty, powerful, sacrificial, full of peace, grace and mercy and ready to listen at any time.

He has also achieved so much that makes it possible for me to enter His presence. I need to give thanks for His sacrifice on the cross, the forgiveness of my sin, my adoption into His family and the destiny He places on my life.

And there is so much more!

God is ready to receive our “giving worth” (worship) at any time.  He does not need it, but He does delight in it for in those moments we are closest to God the Father, part of His loving family.  We can enter in to the most Holy place and know His acceptance and healing.

In worshiping God I remind myself of who He is.  That changes everything.  He then reminds me of how much value He has in me.  His willingness to die on the cross so that we can be together is such a beautiful expression of love.  See:

Engraved on His hands

My sense of self-worth changes in these moments and I know that whatever I do it cannot be taken away.

In these same moments I can also confess my sins, ask for forgiveness and also then ask God how I can put it right.  I do value what people think of me (the value they put in me).  It is part of loving and respecting someone.  I also value what they think of God as a result of what they think of me.  So, therefore if I have wronged someone I need to try to put it right, and if they have wronged me then I need to forgive them and where possible let them know it does not get in the way of how much I value (love) them.

But my self-worth must not come from what people think of me.  It must come from accepting and entering into what God thinks of me.

Finally, as well as giving worth to God, we need to find ways to give worth to each other.  This is simply learning to honour people for who they are.  Learning to look for the person God has made them to be and calling it out when we see it at work.  When we bestow God’s identify on someone, we honour them.  We can also do this through prophecy when God sees someone’s identify before we see any sign of it through what they do.  In the same way that God calls Gideon a mighty warrior or Jesus calls Simon, Peter (the rock) before they have done anything to warrant that name, we too can open ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit to call out and honour someone with the name and destiny God has given them.

It’s better to give than receive …..

I was reminded of something God has shown me historically in the last week.

I have always taken the phrase “It’s better to give than receive” as a given.  It is something I have always accepted as good advice and a statement of truth.  And I still do.  That is not what God showed me!

For more on the phrase see:

Acts 20:35

10 Reasons why it is more blessed to give than receive. (this is an excellent encouragement to give and worth further study)

Did Jesus say it?

So, what was it I was reminded of?

It’s better to give than receive …..

But don’t steal the blessing from someone by refusing to receive what they want to give you.

Be grateful and let them know.

Don’t let pride get in the way of blessing.

Note that God loves to receive our gifts to Him!

It’s not about you ….

In the last week I was reminded of the first sentence I read on day 1 of the The Purpose Driven Life.  It says, “It’s not about you.”  It then goes on to explain the purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, peace of mind or happiness.

My problem is that I only remembered the first sentence, “It’s not about you.”  As though I was an after-thought and didn’t really matter.  I know that is not what the author intended but it is often how we can be deceived – which is why we need to work at getting God’s truth into our lives and discarding the lies of the enemy.  Anyway, when I thought of that sentence this is what came to me …..

It’s not about you …..

But actually it is, or rather it’s not just about you and it’s not just about God.  It starts and ends with God (He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end) but there is a heroic, romantic story in between and you are one of the main characters because you are made for a special purpose, loved and cherished, but you get lost, you stumble and fall, turn your back on your creator who then responds by doing all He can, even sacrificing Himself, to restore you to Himself and the original purpose you were made for.

But it does start and end with God and that’s important because whilst understanding our roots and our true identity is a firm foundation, it’s also important that we know the end of the journey is secure.  That we can trust God to keep His promises and that everything will be made right in the end.

You are important.  You are dearly loved and cherished.

Having said that it’s not just about you (or us), once our hearts have been captivated by God then our focus naturally turns to that which we love the most.  Our lives, our purpose, are then worked out in the context of wanting to know God more, to have a greater revelation of Him, and the importance of letting others know the truth of what God is really like.

You Love Me?

ODB on Aug 29 2018

Mal 1:1-5

This speaks of how God’s love expressed through:

  1. Correction – for protection
  2. Being chosen – God’s choosing is not a momentary decision.

It also highlights our expectation that if someone loves us then they make sure we get what we want and that if we are in difficultly we often don’t take responsibility and it’s easier to blame God even though our own decisions will be what lead to our existing situation.

You Love Me?

Learning to Trust

This is one of the most awesome inspiring and timely posts I have received from ODB.  I can take a hint and I believe this is a strong one from the Lord!  It follows a sermon on worry yesterday.  I need to pull out those notes and compare, however, I believe this will strongly speak into the Discipleship Framework lens of Security and Authority.

Matt 6:25-34

Posture

Do not worry about your life.  That is a statement that covers everything, but he then focuses on food, drink and clothing – the basics needed for survival.  Jesus then points to God feeding the birds and clothing flowers and in both cases reminds us we are far more important to the Father then they are.  We need to trust God for provision.  This is about trust.  Putting our faith in God not storehouses!  Instead we are to seek after the Kingdom and righteousness (being right with God).  Don’t worry about tomorrow, not because it doesn’t matter but because today has enough troubles of its home.  Which I think means Jesus is encouraging us to be focused in the moment we are in, the people we are with and situation.

The writer from ODB says that even the strength to earn a living and “help ourselves” are gifts from a heavely Father.  She then goes to speak of the powerful testimony of her mother even with Alzheimer’s disease.

Purpose

So much of our purposes in life our focused on building and creating store houses for the future – just in case.  This passage says that instead we should focus on the Kingdom and righteousness.  These needs to be our purposeful life.

Going deeper – I need to contrast this with the sermon from Sunday.

Learning to Trust

The Gathering – Jonathan Conrathe

My notes from Jonathan Conrathe speaking at The Gathering on Sunday 15th July.

It’s time for revived prayer.  Acts 1:1-8.  Get back in the power room.

It’s time for repentance .  2 Cor 6: 11-18.  We are restricted by our own affections

He talked about Jesus casting out the demon from a boy that the disciples could not cast out due to their unbelief (Matt 17).  This kind cannot come out except through prayer and fasting.  He described an analogy of God’s power being like electricity coming into house and we are the fuse box through which that power is channeled.

2 Tim 3.  These are Paul’s last words.  Keep going!  Continue in the truth and live for seeking the truth or your will be deceived (v13).

Blind Bartemeus.  If Jesus said “What do you want me to do for you?” what would you do?