This is a little long, but worth the read. From Josh McDowell and Ben Bennett:
Whether you are regarded as somebody or nobody in your family, job, school, or church, you are somebody to God.
Whether you achieve great or small things, your infinite worth and value to Him are undiminished. God thinks highly of you and wants you to see yourself as He sees you.
He wants you to live a life of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness — a thriving life.
Some may say, “But that’s not biblical; the Bible says not to think highly of yourself.” That’s not quite accurate. Romans 12:3 says,
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.
God’s Word does not tell us to have a low view of ourselves, but to have an accurate view of ourselves. How should we think of ourselves? A healthy self-image is seeing yourself as God sees you — no more and no less. That is God’s standard. That is a healthy self-image and identity. The question is, “How does God see me?”
God says that you are of infinite worth; you are loved and unique. This isn’t wishful thinking. This isn’t “self-help.” This isn’t about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps or thinking happy thoughts. It’s about truth, obedience to God, and a right understanding of His Word. It is a right understanding of what He says about you, and about living the life you were meant to live.
We can’t just drum up some subjective standard of our worth as the basis of our value and life. We need something outside of ourselves, as humans, to define our worth. There has to be an objective and universal standard of value from an outside source greater than ourselves. If you paid for a one-pound bag of flour, only to get it home and find that it contained only 1⁄4 pound, you might be confused, even angry. Say you take it back to the store and confront the store manager, who says, “That’s our standard. We call that a one-pound bag. What you call it is up to you.” That would be ridiculous, of course, because justice and commerce depend on reliable, objective, universal standards (there’s even an International Bureau of Weights and Measurements that defines such standards).
Many of us use a similarly ridiculous measurement of our own value and worth. We accept a person’s criticism or compliment as our standard. We measure our value based on our success or failure, our looks, or our status. But there is a universal and unchanging standard we can look to for our worth.
You Are of Great Value
You are valuable. Anyone who communicated to you that you are worthless or unimportant was mistaken. It is essential that you see yourself as valuable, because that is how God sees you.
Society says that our worth is based on our accomplishments, success, looks, status, retirement plan, and life insurance policy.
Even Time magazine valued the average human life at $129,000.1 That’s absurd. There is a universal and objective standard that determines our value, just as there is a standard for weights and measurements. This universal standard comes from the Creator, the manufacturer, the all-powerful God of the universe. We know this inherently as humans. This is why we abhor slavery, murder, rape, and human trafficking.
You are valuable because you are made in the image of God (see Genesis 1:27), meaning that you possess distinct dignity, value, a rational mind, moral desires, and relational capacity.
The entire earth was entrusted to you to rule and reign over (see Genesis 1:28). God created humans with His own hands and breathed into them the breath of life, unlike animals or other created things (see Genesis 2:7). He created humans as the pinnacle of His creation and said they are “very good” (see Genesis 1:31). No one in the history of the world has the same personality, characteristics, or physical attributes that you have. You are an original. God chose to create you exactly how you are with your unique gifts, personality, and physical features.
Though sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, and you were born with a sinful nature (Psalm 51:5), you were still created in the image of God (Genesis 9:6). Nothing you do or have done will ever diminish God’s love for you or your intrinsic value.
One of King David’s psalms details beautifully just how much we are worth to God.
What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything You made, putting all things under their authority.
— Psalm 8:4-6 NLT
You are also infinitely valuable, irreplaceable, and indispensable (1 Corinthians 12:22) because God gave His only Son to reconcile you to Himself, paying an incalculable ransom that says that you are infinitely valuable. Your value wasn’t created by Jesus’s death on the cross; it was shown by Jesus’s death on the Cross. At Calvary, God declared to Heaven, hell, and the whole earth that you are worth the gift of Jesus Christ, His dearly loved Son. If you ever put a price tag on yourself, it would have to read “Jesus,” because that is what God paid to save you (see 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 1 Peter 1:18–19). Your value isn’t derived from anything you have done or can do; it is not a self-created value. You are of great value because that’s who our loving God created you to be. Humility is knowing who you are and Who made you who you are and giving God the glory. Your value cannot be determined by other people — not even yourself.
Only your Creator can determine the value of His creation.
You Are Lovable
The Bible speaks repeatedly and powerfully of how much you are loved. For example:
Jesus prayed to His Father, “You love them as much as You love Me” (John 17:23 NLT).
God loves you as much as He loves Jesus.
Jesus says to His followers, “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love” (John 15:9).
Jesus loves you as much as God the Father loves Jesus.
The Bible says to us, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).
God loves you so much, He made you His own son or daughter.
God’s Word declares, “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
God loves you so much, He gave everything for you.
You may have grown up feeling ignored, unwanted, despised, or even hated. The people who conveyed that image to you were in error. God created you in His image and loves you as His own child. God makes no mistakes. If He loves you — and He does — you are eternally lovable. It is essential that you see yourself as lovable because that is how God sees you.
Jesus didn’t endure rejection, ridicule, torture, and death for the sake of trash. In love, He went to the Cross to redeem and restore a relationship with that which was lost — you.
One of the most well-known verses in Scripture shows how great His love for you is, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son…” (John 3:16). God doesn’t merely tolerate or love you as a result of Christ’s work on the Cross. Rather, His love was the fuel that sent Jesus to the Cross for you.
See how Psalm 17:8 expresses God’s love and affection toward us. It says, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” At face value, this may not seem to carry much weight. But the Hebrew word for “apple” literally means “little man (little person).” When you stand close enough to someone, you see a tiny reflection of yourself in that person’s pupil. You see yourself as the “apple” of his or her eye. In this psalm, David is saying this is who you are to God. You are the “little man” reflected in God’s eye. You are always in His vision. You are always the object of His affection and obsession. This is how much you are loved and valued.
- Kathleen Kingsbury, “The Value of a Human Life: $129,000,” Time, May 20, 2008