Sam’s eyes stared at the ground and his feet drug the carpet while setting his coffee down. His demeanor signaled a heavy discouragement before he ever said a word.
“Sam, how are you today?”, I asked. “Not so good. To get right to the point, I’m tired of trying to feel good about myself. I thought being a Christian would help my sense of self-worth but I actually think I’m worse off than I was before I was a Christian. I’ve been hoping that my obedience to God, my service for God, my friend’s opinions of me or doing my job as if God were my boss would make me feel valuable, but it seems like it’s backfired on me. No matter how much I do, I seem to keep sinking deeper into feeling worthless. Do you think God has an answer for me or am I doomed to live this way the remainder of my life?”
Do you ever feel like Sam? Maybe you feel worthless like he does, or your worth rises or falls depending on the day. If so, you are not alone. We’ve counseled and taught over 10,000 people since our beginning in 1995 and the majority of those struggled with self-worth. The great news is that Jesus, Himself, gave us the answer in Matthew 13:44-46.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Maybe you’ve thought that these parables told by Jesus represent us giving all we have so we can have Jesus as our treasure or pearl. Well, He’s certainly our treasure but that’s not the meaning here. When we read the Bible, the context is always essential for us to understand a few verses sandwiched in the middle of it. When we read the entire chapter, we see clearly that Jesus is the one “doing”. For example, He plants seeds. He plants a mustard plant. He throws a net to catch fish.
That shows us that He is the man who found the treasure in the field and the merchant who found fine pearls. In both cases, Jesus sells all He had, meaning He gave His life for us on the cross. He paid the greatest price He could pay so He could have us as His treasure and His fine pearls. We are told this gave Him great joy. It reminds me of what Hebrews 12:2b says. “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
The joy that awaited Him after He went to the cross was knowing He would purchase you so you could belong to Him. Though we are compared to treasure and pearls, we are more than some kind of “bling” to Him. We are special as a person. For example, when I walk into a public place with my wife holding onto my arm, I often feel like the richest man there!” Because Jesus is in you and you are in Him, He is our treasure and you are His treasure. You give Him great joy just because you belong to Him!
It’s always encouraging for any of us to be told we did a good job, that someone sought us out for friendship, etc. However, it’s even more important to remember, the value of something is determined by how much a person is willing to pay for it. Jesus gave everything He had to pay for you. Now you are our Father’s son/daughter and friend, meaning you are complete in Christ, holy in Christ, righteous in Christ, even perfect in Christ. Talk about having great self-worth!
Why don’t you put a reminder on your phone each morning for the next seven days to remind you to pray, “Jesus, thank you for giving all You had so You could have all of me. I proclaim that I no longer need to search for my self-worth. I have amazing self-worth because I belong to You and I am a son/daughter of our Father. I am holy, righteous and perfect today in You.”
Keep Growing in Grace!