Looking back on Mental Health Month in May, you may be considering what self-worth means for a Christian. The concept has no easy definition. Outside the church, people may use it as an excuse for self-centered behavior or just as a substitute for the worth found in God. Meanwhile, many Christians ignore or even criticize self-worth in a misguided attempt to feel humble. But neither side truly answers the question. What can a self-worth-focused Bible study actually teach you?
As with many controversial concepts, the answer lies not in either extreme, but somewhere in the middle. The Bible offers plenty of information on self-worth found through Christ and the inherent dignity of human beings. For a quick examination of the Bible’s teachings, let’s look at the different sources of worth God’s Word outlines.
Worth through Creation
Genesis 1:27 says that God created man in His own image. What exactly that means is the topic of much debate, but most Christians will agree that at the very least, it means that humans are God’s most prized creation. As Psalm 139 points out, God had a plan when He made us. We were specifically made to have the emotions, experiences, and relationship with God that an animal can’t have. From this perspective, you have inherent worth just by being human and a special creation of God.
Pro Tip: God made us all special and unique. Remember that everyone, regardless of how they treat you, possesses the same inherent worth as a human being that you do in God’s eyes.
Worth Through Salvation
Of course, the largest source of worth outlined in the Bible is the worth granted by Jesus at the moment of salvation. At that point, not only are you a creation of God, but His child as well. Remember that Jesus considered you worth dying for, not because of anything you’ve ever done to earn His love, but because of your inherent worth as His creation and His love for you. Your forgiveness and eternal salvation grants you worth!
Worth Through God-Honoring Behavior
We can’t earn salvation or God’s favor through mere actions. However, our behavior can demonstrate our love for God and a desire to please Him. Your new identity in Jesus plays a large role in this. Use your God-given talents to honor Him and bring joy to others. Are you musically gifted? Write worship songs or sing for people. Can you cook fantastic meals? Make dinner for someone who needs it or just as a surprise. Use your talents as God directs you to honor Him, show other people you care about them, and improve your own talents all the while.
A truly biblical approach to self-worth neither elevates it as an ultimate goal or demonizes it as sinful. As a creation of God, you possess inherent value from the beginning of your life, and salvation is just the culmination of your worth. It’s not only possible but healthy to recognize your inherent value while also maintaining a humble attitude. According to the Bible, that is the true meaning of self-worth.
Have another question about your value in Christ? Join the conversation and chat with other believers.