Personal Growth

(Pexels/Kaique Rocha)

Every person on earth needs to know they matter—they need to know they're valuable and they mean something to someone. The problem is when people don't get a good start in life, they often waste their lives searching for self-worth in all the wrong places.

In the world today, people so often base their value and importance on what they do, how much education they have, who they know, what kind of clothes they wear, how they look, their job title and the list goes on.

But when worldly standards determine your sense of self-worth, you'll always be striving to please people...and it will derail you from your God-given destiny. The only way to find true security and have a healthy self-esteem is by knowing and experiencing the love of God.

The apostle Paul talks about this in Galatians 1:10 (AMP). He says: "Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ" (AMP).

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He's basically saying, "If I were trying to be popular with people, I wouldn't be serving God and know that He loves me."

I can say with certainty that if I was trying to be popular with people, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today. When God spoke to my heart about His call on my life to teach the Word, I didn't receive much support from those around me.

As I began to step out and do what God placed in my heart, some of my friends and family told me I shouldn't be doing it. I was even asked to leave the church I was attending at the time, and I ended up losing friendships that I thought were important to me.

It was a very difficult season, but I discovered that while it's not always easy to do what God calls us to do, obedience to Him is always worth it in the end. Doing things God's way is the only thing that works in the long run. There are people in your life—I'm talking about people other than your spouse and children—who may come and go over time, but God will always be with you because He loves you and He promises to never leave you nor forsake you (see Heb. 13:5).

The bottom line is you are valuable because God loves you and He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you. Your worth is not based on how you look, who you know, your title at work or any of the other superficial things the world considers impressive.

After Paul met Christ and became a born-again believer, he came to realize that everything else was meaningless compared to the priceless privilege of knowing God. I absolutely love what he says in Philippians 3:8:

"I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him—a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ."

The truth that  God loves you is what makes you valuable. He created you because He loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you. He has wonderful plans and purposes for your life, and His love for you is unconditional—He loves you just as much on your worst day as He does on your best day!

No matter what your past is like, where you're from, what you've done or where you are today, God is there for you, and He loves you. He loves us all the same, and He wants to meet us right where we are to heal our wounded souls and bring us out of the messes we're in—whether it's a mess we've created or the result of what other people have done to us.

After the years of being abused by my dad and abandoned by my mother (who knew what he was doing but didn't have the courage to stand up to him), I was so messed up! I felt worthless, guilty, damaged, used, condemned and terribly insecure. I tried to find my worth and value in many things, especially in work. And living this way just made me more miserable, angry and messed up.

It was so wonderful to discover that God loves me and to find the healing and restoration I desperately needed through my relationship with Him. The truth is God is so much more important to us than any person in the world could ever be!

I want to encourage you to spend time seeking God in prayer, studying what the Bible says about who He is and how He loves you. Meditate on Scriptures like Ephesians 1:4-5, Romans 8, Psalm 27:10 and Isaiah 38:17. Ask God to help you learn to receive His love and find your true worth in Him. He chose you on purpose...He wants you and He loves you...and there's nothing more valuable than that.

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Dr. Mark Rutland's

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