Yesterday I had a long talk with one of the college students in our church about her love-life. It seems that her boyfriend broke up with her because he thought she was too fat. He told her that once she lost weight, he was happy to accept her back. It was an unbelievably cruel way for him to treat her, and it left her with a broken heart, and damaged self-esteem. It was all I could do to not get in my car and head to her boyfriend's house to punch him in the nose.
Fortunately, I didn't do that - mostly because I'm a pastor, but also because I'm 54, and he's 21, and I'm sure I would have ended up on the short end of that stick. But what I did do was help my friend understand that she is beautiful and valuable because God made her, and she belongs to Him. And as we talked, I was reminded of the fundamental truth that Jesus came to earth for the sick, the broken, and the insecure people that the world wanted to ignore. He came to fill their deepest need with His love. And that’s still true today - Jesus wants to fill our deepest needs with His love.
This is great news, because for most of us, our deepest needs in life are to feel secure, and valuable, and accepted. And because of this, we’re constantly doing two things: evaluating and comparing. We do it all the time - consciously and unconsciously. Actually, I think most of us judge ourselves by four of the standards that the world uses: appearance, affluence, achievement, and approval.
The problem with that value system is that it’s not stable. Our looks fade with age; possessions wear out; someone else will surpass our success; and not everyone will like us. That’s why the only solid foundation for our self-worth is to realize how much we matter to God. When we see ourselves the way God sees us, it will transform our lives. And how does God see us? Well, Ephesians 2:10 sums it up beautifully as it tells us: “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago”. God created us; He loves us; and He has good plans for us. That’s why we need to build our self-worth on what He thinks of us.
Studies show that we tend to base our self-esteem on what we think the most important person in our life thinks about us. That’s why we need to make sure that Jesus Christ is the most important person in our life. So today, let's stop evaluating and comparing. Let's stop using the world's standards to decide our self-worth - and instead, let's remember what God thinks of us, and allow that truth to direct all that we say, think, and do.