How many of you have a picture of your kids on your iPhone? How about a photo of your significant other sitting on your desk at work? When we love someone and they are very important to us, we tend to keep photos of them with us. According to Isaiah 49:16, our Heavenly Father feels the same way. He has a photo gallery of all of His children embedded in the palms of His hands. Along with that, on the backs of each of His hands are each of our names.
Just like we like to keep photos of our loved ones because we value and love them, God does the same for us. Ponder and let that sink in for a moment. You are loved! And the God that created you and me, values us.
Considering those things which are valuable to us, they are usually of great importance or usefulness. They are found to be profitable, relevant, and worthy, and we cherish and treasure them. Often times they are irreplaceable. Because of all this, these valuables are high-priced and in high demand. They are “hot commodities.”
As people, one of our greatest needs is to feel a sense of worth. We need to feel important and that our lives matter. We are continually hoping that we have something to offer in any given situation or to another person.
This need can often shape how we view ourselves, and the way we view ourselves determines the way we treat ourselves. However, we treat ourselves and the value we place on ourselves (or lack thereof), is exactly how we will treat and value others. It also determines the way we will allow others to treat or mistreat us. Without recognizing our own self-worth, it is nearly impossible to treat someone else with the proper value and respect.
Too often, we can fall into the trap of placing too much importance on appearance, achievement, possessions, or how perfect of a life we have lived. The issue with this is that those things can change. If any one of those aspects decreases in our life, our self-worth will decrease as well.
We can also deceive ourselves into thinking there is something wrong with us when others hurt or disappoint us. Measuring our value based on what someone else thinks of us is a slippery slope, however. No human is perfect, which means we cannot develop even a slightly perfect view of ourselves based off of those same imperfections.
Instead, we must consciously remind ourselves that our value is based solely on the fact that we are children of God and that He loves us. There is nothing you, or I, or even somebody else can do to change that. The Devil will try to use every negative thing someone has said or done against us to lower our sense of self-worth.
But when someone else, fails to treat us with value, we must remember that it is their loss. Because it is. When someone rejects us, that is not our problem, it is theirs. When someone fails to acknowledge us as valuable, it is not a reflection of who we are, but of who they are.
We forget that God’s opinion is the only opinion that matters. Why waste a moment considering what anyone else has to say about us? Often, we shape our views of ourselves and self-worth around the opinions of those closest to us; a relative, spouse, parent, or a friend. But unfortunately, we forget the view of the One most important to us. No matter how precious the individual, people are people. We are imperfect. And as imperfect people, we have the propensity to hurt and disappoint.
Basing our value system on imperfect people, we could be misled into believing that our value is non-existent. We can overvalue what we are not and undervalue what we are (Malcom S. Forbes). But basing our value system on a perfect God, we will always find our true worth. We must strive to keep His opinion of us the most important one in our lives. When we base our sense of value on what God says about us, we will come to feel worthy, accepted, precious, and valued.
The truth is, as individuals, we are more than our weights in gold. And if any one of us is weightier than we prefer, well then we are just more valuable! We are each individually one of a kind, rare, precious, and costly. God valued each of our lives over the life of His very own son. He treasured us even when we did not deserve it. Imagine if an individual told you that they were willing to sell or trade their whole world to help you through a challenging situation. Wouldn’t you feel especially cherished and important?
Well God tells us that He would sell off the whole world just to get any one of us back. That He would trade the whole creation just for you or me. And if He had to do it all again, He would. That means we are valuable.
So when each of us wake up and look in the mirror each morning, we need to tell ourselves, “I am so hot!” Because each of us was bought at a very high price and we are hot commodities!
Though human love may be dependent upon the value of any given object, the love of God is not. Rather, it creates value in objects and in us. During a season in my life which demeaning words were often being spoken to me, I found myself struggling with my own self-worth. In the midst of the pain, God spoke to me and said, “You are a treasure without measure,” and that same thing holds true for each of us. The God who formed us in each of our mothers’ wombs, is the Father who accepts us and tells us, you are Mine. You are a treasure without measure.