I recently read a Christian article that emphasized our need to minimize our self-worth. We are called to die to ourselves and live for Christ. While this may be true, (God hates pride) something struck me as I was reading his words. In our attempt to be humble and “die to ourselves,” have we become a people who pride themselves on low self-esteem and worth? Do we equate humility with thinking lowly of ourselves? The truth is that we are God’s treasure. Low self-worth was never His intention for His people.
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A quick Bible study of our identity in Christ reveals the following truths:
- You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. – Matthew 5:14
- So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. – Matthew 10:31
- Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
- Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. – 1 Corinthians 12:27
- For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:26
- And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. – Galatians 3:29
- Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. – Galatians 4:7
- So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household. – Ephesians 2:19
- For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. – Ephesians 5:8
- But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10
- If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. – 1 Peter 4:14
- You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4
Nowhere in the New Testament do we see a “you are” statement that is negative. Yes, there are many “you were” statements referring to our lives before Christ. But according to His Word, “you are” a new creation in Him!
Why would God spend so much time in His Word telling us who we are in Him if He wanted us to think lowly of ourselves?
You are God’s treasure – He delights in you. He has given you a purpose, and He has gifted you with every spiritual blessing.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. – Ephesians 1:3 (NLT, emphasis added)
Here’s the truth: When He sent Jesus to atone for our sins on the cross, He did so because of His great love for us. To Him, we were worth the sacrifice of His most precious treasure in heaven – His Son. We are of great value to God!
Self-esteem is an interesting concept. As believers, we don’t want to be lovers of ourselves, but we also don’t want to see ourselves so lowly that we fail to recognize who God created us to be. We will have trouble walking in our new God-given identities if we are constantly putting ourselves down.
Worldly self-esteem says, “Look at what I can accomplish on my own. I am the master of my own destiny and accomplish all I set my mind to do.” – We receive the glory.
Godly self-esteem says, “Look at what God has done in me and for me. I have a God-given purpose, and He will be faithful to lead me as I accomplish all He has planned for me.” – God receives the glory.
This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!” – Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NLT)
God hates pride. It always leads to destruction. (Proverbs 16:18) But low self-worth isn’t of God either. Before Christ, you were a slave to sin. But He saved you from slavery because He loves and values you. As His child, you are His special treasure. He wouldn’t have repeatedly declared your value in His Word if He didn’t want you to walk in it.
You are God’s treasure. You are loved. And you belong to Jesus.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.