What is Self-Worth?
When I was growing up, I did not value myself. I realize that I didn’t really understand what it meant to have a healthy sense of self-worth.
Wikipedia defines it as self-esteem. Other related words include self-regard, self-respect and integrity.
Psychologist Carl Rogers observed in his clinical practice that many of the problems of his clients originated from how people despised themselves, hated themselves and considered themselves to be not valuable and not worthy of being loved. They had very low self-esteem.
Most people’s lack of self-worth can find its roots in broken, dysfunctional families and in the love they did not receive as a child.
Some adults suffer low self-esteem from wounds of rejection, neglect, lack of affirmation, abuse and abandonment, soul wounds that have not yet been healed.
Children and teens who are developing their sense of identity, need to know that they are wanted, loved and valued unconditionally, not because of what they do but simply because they are your children. Even if they are driving you crazy sometimes, they need to know and feel that you love them no matter what.
Living in a broken world, with bullying in school and in society, can make a person of low self esteem even more prone to self-hate as they experience more rejection and do not know how to protect themselves with healthy boundaries.
I realize that the lack of a healthy self-esteem does affect the way we behave in our world. When we think and feel badly about ourselves, we have no genuine love to give. How can we, when we don’t even love ourselves?
If self-esteem is said to reflect a person’s judgment of his or her own worth, it leads to the question: How do you see yourself?
But the more essential question I believe is this:
How does God see you?
Even the healthiest parent cannot give all the love that you need. Only God can. A lack of self-worth means you do not love yourself but God does!
Only He can give you your true sense of worth because He is your Maker and He is the Source of Love. The good news is His love for you is unconditional, without strings attached. He is the best of all parents. He does not see your mistakes but the wonderful being He made that is you from the very beginning. He sees your potential, your original beauty and strength.
He wants to give you the love that you need. A love that is freely offered to you for your well-being, if you would only open your heart to receive it.
To be willing to receive God’s love is to have a humble heart. We come to Him in our need and neediness and allow Him to fill us up so that we can learn to love ourselves.
My godmother Sr. Rafaelie says that the more you get to know God, the more you get to know yourself. The closer you draw to God, the more you learn to love yourself in a genuine way. Your Maker will reveal to you who you really are, your gifts, your strengths, your purpose.
A healthy sense of self-worth must be rooted in God’s love for you. This results in a self-esteem that is enduring and not resulting from external circumstances. You know you are worthy simply because God loves you.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Self-worth is a result of receiving the unconditional love of God, who is our loving Father. He gave Jesus for you on the Cross so that you may have life.
Truth to be told, no matter how old we get, we will always be God’s children and He loves us very much, more than we can imagine. He wants us to value ourselves the way He values us.
No external circumstance can increase or decrease your self worth if it is rooted in God’s love for you. You are already loved so you have nothing to prove.
Shame can come as a result of the wounds and brokenness from one’s past. This inward shame is a lie. You are far more valuable than you can ever imagine. You are God’s child and He wants to heal your brokenness so that you can be all that He created you to be.
Every human being is worthy of respect and love. You are worthy of respect, why don’t you give this to yourself? What is holding you back? It may be your sins and weaknesses? You feel you are not worthy? Why? Where is it coming from? God is faithful to forgive your sins and help you in your weaknesses if you but ask Him. God’s grace and the power of His Spirit is available to you if you would like to change old patterns and behaviors. The good news is that nothing can separate you from the love of God!
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
My godmother Sr. Rafaelie also says that, “Humility is walking in the truth.” What is the truth about you? What are your gifts and talents? What are your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
When you value yourself in the right way, you are confident to make your dreams come true and reach your potentials with God by your side. To be able to use your talents to serve others, this is God’s will for you.
I believe that authentic self-esteem leads to a genuine giving of self to others.
One of the greatest allies to self-esteem is integrity. I like the definition of integrity as “the state of being whole and undivided.” It is also closely allied with honesty and trustworthiness. When you have integrity, you learn to love yourself.
Trust in God’s goodness. Trust in God’s love for you. You are deeply loved.