When life is tough, and even when it’s not, we can often feel unworthy. We can feel this around family, friends, in work, and often infront of God. One question I’ve often heard repeated by non-Christians is “If God exists, why would He care about me?” Sometimes even the church can pull us down in an attempt to humble us and end up distancing us from God. We can judge ourselves and our position to be so low that we can feel tiny, and it can be extremely difficult to accept the love, grace, and gifts God offers whilst feeling so low. In such a large universe, full of creation, and movement, “why would I matter?” is often repeated around our thoughts. It can get so bad that unworthiness can be the identity you label yourself with after a time.
I heard of a conversation between two people, one who used icons (pictures of the saints) to pray and one who didn’t. The first tried to explain that if you come before a King, with all your failings and common position, you should be introduced, and someone higher may represent you to speak on your behalf, therefore he prayed that the saints may go to the feet of the King for him. The second asked a simple question: “What if the King is my father?”
“And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:~16 (NIV)
It is understandable that the first man had this idea of God; we often speak about the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Highest and most powerful Creator. All of these words are full of greatness, and in comparison, our small, short lives can feel meaningless. But God’s greatness does not mean we are unworthy, and ultimately it doesn’t matter what you think of yourself, or what the world thinks of you, because it is His opinion that matters in the end. You are worthy because God says so. The End.
If that was the end of this post it would be great but I have a feeling that very few people find it an easy idea to accept. So let’s work through this bit by bit.
When we judge something’s worth there are many ways we do it: sentimental value, monetary value, and often in comparison to other objects we already know the worth of. So, when we judge ourselves we often look to whether others appreciate us, what we might earn or provide, and look to other friends, heroes, and celebrities for comparison. This can be massively unhelpful and often unhealthy as our perspective and expectations of ourselves are distorted by the half-truths the world can present. It also tends to drag others down by using people to make ourselves feel better, whether it’s in our head or cruel gossip it does not make us better people or help anyone.
Instead, how about we judge ourselves by exactly what we are. Genesis says God made man “in their own image”, and this means that part of us is made through and with Him. We were created with purpose, potential, and in love having parts of God put within our very being. What we are cannot be compared to any other part of creation because what sets us apart is quite simply God. God your creator states you are worthy.
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Colossians 1:17 (NIV)
We can also look to our ultimate Father. When our families don’t seem to care, are absent, or hurtful, we still have a father who aims to guide and protect us. He puts great pride in us, runs to us, and cries over us. We are given worth through that love and care. We are worthy because we are His children, and like any good parent would confirm, their child’s worth is incomprehensible. God your Father states you are worthy.
We can also look at the cost that was paid for us. Gods’ people were chosen despite the failings of humanity, they were taught and guided despite their disobedience and arrogance, they were taken back by God again and again out of grace and love. Jesus was the ultimate cost, and sacrifice, in order to save a world of children from themselves. God humbled Himself to become man, suffered what all do through His short life, was tempted like we all are, and gave up His life at our hands still defending us, still forgiving us, and taking on the sins of the world for us. If we judge our worth by what our lives have cost there is only one answer: God Himself. What makes this even more incredible is that God was doing this for you. He saw everything you were, and gave everything He had. God your Redeemer states you are worthy.
Why we attempt to judge ourselves (or others) is a mystery. We haven’t all the information or evidence, we are flawed in our understanding of our life and the world we are in, and we constantly have our views distorted by lies and half truths. The only one who we can truly look to for judgement is God, and He will judge the living and the dead. God’s judgement can often sound like a terrifying prospect and something to be feared, and in someways it is. But God is the Lion and the Lamb, and He constantly sacrifices Himself to cover your debt. This is something special and should not be taken for granted but we should be able to rest in the knowledge that God continues to welcome you in no matter what you have done, how you feel, or what the world says of you. God your judge states you are worthy.
“But I am like an olive tree growing in the house of God;
I trust in his constant love forever and ever.
I will always thank you, God, for what you have done;
in the presence of your people
I will proclaim that you are good.”
Psalm 52:8-9 (GNT)
Going back to the question of why God would care about you; the truth is that He does, He loves you, and it’s got nothing to do with what you have done, or will do, or think about doing. He loves you because He loves you because He loves you, ad infinitum. This isn’t because He is any less great than the King we know, in fact it is because His greatness is beyond our comprehension. We could never truly understand His grace or the love bestowed on us because He is too big to fathom. But we are worthy, He tells us so. It’s not about you, it’s all about Him.