Sometimes we can put far too much emphasis on others to give us worth; this can mean that if we are not given the job we wanted, or feelings are not reciprocated by a special someone, or you just don’t feel noticed for your skills, it can lead to feelings of worthlessness. We can start to ask “What is wrong with me?” and eventually “Why would they care?”. We can come up with all sorts of justifications about why someone else might be better, or why we just suck, all based on a lot of painful experiences or worldly judgements. That doesn’t make it true.
“With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
What can mortals do to me?”
Psalms 118: 6 (NRSV)
The difference with God is by worldly standards He constantly surprises us by who He chooses, anoints and proves to be worthy. With just a glancing read through the Bible you find women like Ruth, Sarah, and Mary Magdalene being protected and guided when everyone else had thrown them aside. Adam & Eve hid from their creator, were banished to a fallen hard world, and yet became the parents of “the living” (Gen.3:20), the line that would eventually contain the plan to save humanity. We see Joseph sold into slavery, and then jail, picked up by God’s provision and gifts and set in charge of a nation (Gen.37-46). The exiled Hebrew slaves of Egypt were led like children, and fed daily, through the desert to the Promised Land. Their leader? Moses: a murderer, fallen royal, stammerer, shepherd (Exo.2-4). David (1 Sam:16), a lowly shepherd boy is eventually made King, and despite his own failures even after such a gift (again including planning a man’s death, adultery, etc) his lineage brings us to Jesus. Jesus goes on to choose a rag-tag group of disciples, most of which just don’t get it and continue to question everything despite the miracles they are witness to. They were uneducated, poor, labourers, often disliked amongst the rest of society. It was again women, not legally allowed as witnesses, who were the first to meet the risen Jesus (Matt.28:1-10), and throughout the early church they were honoured. One of the most famous saints and leaders of the church, Paul (formerly Saul), was one who persecuted the Little Christ’s and yet his entire life shifted after one encounter with God (Acts 9:1-22).
What happened in all these situations? What did each have to offer? Truthfully, only themselves. They were guided and followed; were asked and answered in obedience. You are all God asks you to offer, only yourself. If you mess up, or feel you already have, just remember that you’re human, God gets it and can still work in you. If your past feels like a burden or a reason God might not find you worthy, let it go because He can work with you and will probably teach you with some of the hard parts of life.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”” Isaiah 6:8 (ESV)
The truth is there is only one truly worthy, without a doubt, man who has ever lived, and He handed over that worth by dying for you. He came to a teenage girl with the stigma of an out-of-marriage pregnancy and a loyal shepherd who almost divorced her. They ran to Egypt after giving birth to escape death. He grew up poor in a culture oppressed by a Roman civilisation. He chose his followers, and loved them, despite the laws they had broken, and no matter what the damage to His reputation. He anointed them as heirs and adopted family out of love and sacrificed everything for them. You can be one of them.
C S Lewis called the children who visited Narnia “Sons of Adam & Daughters of Eve” and created images of royalty through his writing. The Great Lion, Aslan, chose them, guided them through and sacrificed Himself for them. This is a wonderful image to keep in mind when we are feeling unworthy: we were created with as much wonder and creativity as His first human. God continues to renew us and refine us into who we are meant to be. He created us and continues to form us into the purest version of ourselves, not carbon copies of each other, but children shining our worth out, as a perfect creation.
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.” Malachi 3:3 (ESV)
Again and again God has shown humanity that He put worth in us, that He cares for us, and anoints us for greatness. If you’re still not sure, read through some of the examples: it’s all there. His word is there to show you who He is and He says you are worthy.