Man's basic thought pattern is such that he consciously or unconsciously keeps evaluating his self worth all his life. Every evaluation is based upon some standard or other, which must be reliable if our conclusions have to be right. Also, if we use standards which vary from place to place, time to time, and from person to person, we are going to be delusioned in the long run. Nothing will ever seem permanent. No achievement will seem to last for sufficiently long time in our lives.
The world has its own standards of evaluating one's worth. Most of them are based upon performance or apparence. Such standards are very deceptive for the Christian because spiritual self-worth is never to be evaluated on the basis of worldly standards. It will give rise to several problems, some of which are:
1--We never know when we have achieved enough. There are no standards in this world for lasting achievement. The more one achieves, the more one has to gather to keep it, according to the world. Worse, the best achievers in the world become obscure after their active life comes to an end.
2--If achievement is our measuring-stick, them comparison with others becomes essential. Comparison is a very dangerous game because it brings out the worst inside our hearts. If we are succeeding in everything, then we start comparing ourselves with the non-achievers. This results in all kinds of pride and associated feelings. On the other hand if we start loosing then we will start criticizing the achievers. The goal now is to show that their success is a failure, and that our own failures are successes. This results in all types of criticisms, backbiting, jealousy and associated feelings.
3--Since no person can be a consistent achiever, false fronts become necessary to keep others thinking that all is well with us. This leads to dishonesty in personal and public life.
4--The older we get the more miserable we become. Our time of peak achievement is past and we can no longer keep up with the old successes. This is a sure invitation to frustration and all kind of self-pity in the spiritual life.
The Lord does not want any of His children to be frustrated in their lives. He has provided for their needs in unique ways. One of this is to make all of us equal in Christ. We all have the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us so that in front of God we are fully and uniquely righteous as far as our position is concerned. Any serious Bible student can discover in Bible at least forty unchanging gifts that God gives to everyone of His children at the moment of their salvation. These are the standards on basis of which we should evaluate our spiritual self-worth. In this article we would like to suggest at least four things which every person should remember.
First of all, we are people who have been chosen by the Father. He did not need either to love us or to do anything for us. But in His infinite grace and mercy He loved us. This means that every person in the family of God is an object of the eternal and unchanging love of God. This ought to give confidence to every child of God who thinks that he is not loved.
Second, the Son Himself paid the penalty of our sins. The Lord Jesus did not need to redeem us paying the penalty of our sins by His death on the cross. But He still did do for His love for us. If the Eternal Son Himself has redeemed us by His sacrifice, we do not need any worldly standards to measure our worth. By paying His life for us, He has infused a worth into us which is beyond every precious thing in this world.
Third, the Lord loves us so much that He has made a whole system to protect us from corruption. This includes the presence of Holy Spirit inside us, and also of the provision of the Word of God for protecting our souls. God gave apostles and prophets, and now He has provided evangelists, pastors and teachers in the local church so that they may guard our souls by preaching and teaching the word of God to us regularly.
Fourth, just as every person puts his identity on his valuables, God also has put His mark upon us. Many people put their seal or their name on the costly books which they purchase. God has done more than that. To show and to keep His ownership upon us, He has sealed us with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit's indwelling in us is a clear indication to us and also to the whole world that we are the everlasting possession of God, which He shall present as the uncorrupted Bride of the Lord Jesus.
Many more things can be added to the above list, but they are not necessary. The four things mentioned above should be sufficient to give confidence to every person who is going through the crisis of self worth evaluation in his spiritual life. Others, who are not at this moment passing through this stage, also must remember these things because sooner or later they will pass through these feelings. If they remember these things at that time, much frustration will be avoided. Our spiritual worth is not based upon who and what we are, but rather on who and what we have been made by Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Johnson C. Philip is a scientist (PhD in quantum-nuclear physics), and has worked extensively in the fields of free distance education and alternative medicines. His works in Christian Apologetics enjoy worldwide reputation.