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The Worth of a Person

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

ADMIN NOTE: My apologies – I needed to pull the earlier post today. I am so sorry for any confusion. If you are interested in what Siri Mitchell had to say, you may check out the comments on this post.

The world has many ways to size up a man and judge his “value” (and men often use these measuring sticks themselves, so do we as wives) by measuring:

  • The size of his paycheck
  • How cool his car is
  • How “hip” his clothes are
  • How cool his haircut is
  • Whether he owns a house or not
  • Whether he has a college degree and what college he attended
  • How well-kept his yard is
  • His neighborhood
  • His career
  • His popularity
  • The respect and admiration of his wife
  • How sexy he is
  • How sexy his wife is
  • What schools his children attends
  • His clubs/hobbies/social activities
  • What country he is from
  • His dialect
  • His aspirations
  • His friends
  • His activity level
  • His vacations
  • His mannerisms
  • How luxurious his home is
  • How much worldly power he has in his family, at work, at church, and in society
  • His weaknesses
  • His failures/mistakes
  • His bank account and retirement account

For women, the world may add even more parameters by which to measure us (our husbands may use some of these measuring sticks on us and we may judge ourselves and our own worth by some of these things, as well):

  • Her dress size
  • How sexy she is
  • Her hair
  • Her makeup
  • Her weight
  • Whether she is married
  • How well her figure matches up to a Barbie doll’s figure
  • How much her husband loves her
  • How much she believes her husband loves her
  • How her husband treats her
  • Whether she has children
  • How beautifully her home is decorated
  • How perfectly she keeps her house
  • How well-behaved her children are
  • How happy her children appear to be at any given moment

How does God measure and judge the worth of a person?

  • God created us, therefore we have great value.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

  • Those who belong to Christ are God’s children!

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29

  • God judges us accurately and righteously by our heart, character, mind, and motives.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

  • God made our bodies and our lives – and what He made is good.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

  • In God’s sight, people are of greater worth than animals. Animals are precious, but people are much more valuable in God’s economy.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:25-34

  • Yes we have weaknesses and frailties, but God is able to show His power through us in the midst of our weaknesses for His greatest glory. That is our primary purpose – to bring great glory to God even though we have little strength on our own!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

  • Men and women are of equal value in the sight of God.  And we are to all be unified in Christ as believers. There are to be no divisions.

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:27-29

  • God especially rewards those with a humble, contrite spirit.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

  • God has a special heart for the poor, the oppressed, the orphans, the widows, and those who are unjustly persecuted.

And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.… Psalm 9:8-10

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

  • God is pleased when we come to Him in faith. That is how we can “impress” God – of course, He gives us the faith, we cannot even do that small thing ourselves.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6

  • God delights in those who reverence, trust, fear (in a healthy way) and obey Him.

But the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. Psalm 147:11

  • Because of what Jesus has done for us, for those who are in Christ, we are free from any condemnation from God and we can have peace with God!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4

  • In heaven, those of us who are in Christ will be glorified, honored, and exalted by God.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

APPLICATION:

Let’s not judge our husbands (others, or ourselves) by the world’s external standards. Let’s ask God to give us His eyes to see, love, and bless people. Let’s have His perspective, His mind, His heart, His love, His wisdom, His Spirit, and His power!

29 thoughts on “The Worth of a Person

    1. thank you, April! so very good and helpful as always. I thank God every day for you because my life has changed so much because of you and my relationship with my Lord is better than ever! thank you so much!

      1. Monica,

        WOOHOO! I praise God for what He is doing in your life – and I am awed, humbled, and amazed that God allows me to be a little part of the work He is doing in your life. Sending you a huge hug, my sweet sister!

    2. I can totally relate to some of what you ladies have said. Becca, you said that you have others saying negative things to you….well, I did that to myself instead growing up. I have a visual impairment and a muscle disease.

      Even to this day, I am getting those sayings haunting me at inconvenient times. My husband gets mad at me when he would try to give me a compliment and I would never believe him either. God created us and we ar His image, and He has a plan for us. Only if I would have embraced that through the years instead of barrading myself with negativity and lies. Why is it so much easier to believe the lies we, and society tells us over what God tells us and promises us?
      As for the comment regarding someone snapping at you….how in the world do you get your brain to slow down enough to think that and not react to the person who snapped at you in an ungodly manner? Or, for that matter, when someone is grumpy and killing the happy mood you are in.
      Now, I found this blog! I have read a few things and am trying to implement some of what I have read. My husband likes the fact that I am wearing more skirts, and not rejecting him all of the time when he does give a compliment. There is a lot to work on, but maybe one day it will become more natural and flattering right away when he does.
      A lot of what you ladies say makes a ton of sense. Why would we think some of these things? So, to ‘help’ myself with all of the pain from others, I had these sayings I would say over and over to myself. “You are ugly.”, “You are so fat! No wonder why no one likes you.”, “No one wants to date, or even marry, a person with disabilities.” And so on.

    1. Shy,

      Different denominations are a form of division many times. Sometimes it is a matter of differing interpretations of Scripture. But sometimes different denominations or different churches split because of fights, selfishness, ungodliness, etc… Jesus calls us to complete unity in His Spirit as one body. There will be no divisions or denominations in heaven that I know of!

  1. April,

    So many have been terribly misjudged because others saw no deeper than the outer, external person, judging mostly by their appearance. So thank you for reminding us all that the REAL person is inside, in the condition of the mind and heart. If physical beauty or handsomeness exists, that’s just an extra blessing, but not what matters to God.

    I’ve always struggled with the fact that God evidently designed man to be attracted to a woman physically first, so overwhelmingly so that men seem to be almost oblivious to anything else. I know this helps the propagation of the species, but it seems that in this particular aspect we’re not quite made exactly in God’s image, as he himself said, that “how man sees is not the way God sees.” Especially as I grow older and feel less valued in the eyes of the world, I feel keenly how wrong it is to judge others so superficially and am so deeply grateful that God sees the real me. My husband also loves me for who I am, because he is a godly man. However, he is also a MAN, and for this reason I try to be as attractive physically as I can. May he always think I’m beautiful internally, enough to offset the loss of youth.

    Thank you again for these reminders!

    1. Elizabeth,

      It is easy for us as people to judge on externals. But – we can make some serious errors when we do that! Not to mention the pain and hurt we cause.

      When God says we are made in His image – my understanding is that our bodies look similar to His. Of course, men look the most like God physically. God is not a woman. But we all have similar bodies – that allow us to look similar to the way He looks. And we have souls that are eternal. We have souls with the ability to know right from wrong as He does. We have emotions, mental capacity, and spiritual capacity like God does.

      I’m glad that you are seeking God’s value of you, not the world’s value. I am glad that you seek to look attractive for your husband and that you take good care of yourself within reason. That can be a blessing to your husband. But what freedom not to desire the approval of the world! There is no peace in having the things of this world. They will all perish quickly.

      Much love to you!

  2. This is a different way to look at it than I am used to. Most women struggle with self-esteem and self-worth, but this lays everything out so logically and biblically. I may have to print this post and re-read it often!

  3. I think M has a good idea. This is a post to be reread and prayed on many times.
    One thing I struggle with continuously is the concept of being humble. I consider myself humble, and others say I am self loathing. I do not understand how you can be full of yourself and humble at the same time.
    I struggle to see the difference between being conceited and being proud (which is a sin) and liking yourself. Isn’t liking yourself the very definition of pride?
    I don’t actually like the term self loathing. I don’t hate myself. I just don’t like a lot about me, including these internal issues.

    I heard a good sermon last night, about not believing the lies of the world and the media, but it’s hard not to.
    My husband does love me. Why, I’ll never know. And he keeps trying to convince me of that fact and he says the sooner I realize he loves only me, and wants only me, the happier we all will be. Logically I understand that. And I understand that he is a human man. But the minute a more attractive woman walks by, even if he just glances and doesn’t stare, my mind automatically thinks, “he hates you, he wants her, he wishes you weren’t here, he wishes he could ask her out, he regrets being married to you, he is embarrassed to be sitting next to you, he is so sad that he is stuck with you instead of having her.” You can call me crazy, and sometimes I feel crazy. But the thoughts are there. I don’t know how to get rid of them. If I could reach into my head and remove them I would. I have tried giving them to God, but I snatch them right back. I hate it.

    I think I need to learn to give these things to God again and again and again. But part of me just doesn’t feel worthy of being happy. I know part of it is from the mantras that were quoted to me over and over for years as a child and a teenager, about being “ugly, fat, stupid, no boy will ever like you…..” And I know it’s time to let go of the things my sister said on a daily basis, and move on. But boy are those things stuck, they are hard to pry out of my brain. It’s time to stop punishing my husband with my bad attitude, for things that were said to me that he had nothing to do with. It’s time to grow a thicker skin and let the comments that are made at family get togethers roll of my back. About how “being a Christian makes you think you’re better than everyone” (which is NOT true) and how “don’t you remember how you ruined everyone’s Christmas forever by being born?”

    I have tried so hard my whole life to not let people think I thought too much of myself, that I lost my self worth somewhere along the way. To the point that the term “self worth” makes me feel conceited and annoyed. All the while trying to be “good enough.” Do you see the confusion?

    Thank God I found the Lord and He blessed me with an amazing husband. I don’t know what would have become of me otherwise. But I do know that it’s hard, and I do know I need to learn to give my negative thoughts to God again, even if it takes 500,000 times. I am so thankful his mercies are new every morning.
    Thanks for always caring and for letting me get some hard things off my chest.
    Great post, by the way! 🙂

    1. Becca,

      When you say you don’t like a lot about yourself, or that there isn’t much to like about yourself, in essence you are criticizing God and His creation. We can criticize our sin, but not what God created in us.

      He loves you. Are you saying that God, the creator of the universe in His infinite wisdom, is wrong to love you?

      CS Lewis has the BEST quote ever about humility. He said humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves; it is thinking of ourselves less. That makes SO MUCH sense to me.

      It freed me to appreciate who I am, who God made me to be, to appreciate my quirks, knowing God loves me and because He is so wise, I should follow His lead and love me too, and knowing that true humility is simply just not thinking of myself as often.

      If someone snaps at me, my first instinct should NOT be, “What did I do, what’s wrong with me, why do I always tick people off?” Rather, in true humility we should think about the other person and consider “What could be happening in their heart, what do they need, what can I do for them?”

      Does that make sense? Trust me, I have struggled with self-esteem so I understand. These are things that have helped me mightily and I hope they strike a chord with you too. You are loved and prayed for!

      1. Hi M,

        Wow. I love this quote:

        “CS Lewis has the BEST quote ever about humility. He said humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves; it is thinking of ourselves less.”

        I can honestly say I never, ever thought of it that way. Nor has it ever been explained to me that way. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing.

        And I very much appreciate the prayers. Thank you!

        1. Becca, I’m so glad it spoke to you! That quote was a lightbulb moment for me. I still struggle with the immediate thought of “what did I do wrong” when someone else might just be having a bad day, but I’m getting better at considering them and their needs and their heart. One situation at a time, one day at a time, and our mindsets will change little by little.

          God commands us in Philippians 4:8 to think about things that are true (and we only know truth by knowing God’s word, which says we are accepted, made righteous and worthy, loved, set apart for a purpose, beautiful in God’s eyes), noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. We are commanded to do those things. God won’t command us to do something without giving us the means to do it. When we catch ourselves thinking anything opposite of those things (such as when a beautiful woman walks by and you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about how your husband would prefer her – and I’ve done it too, so I get it), we are commanded and given the ABILITY to CHOOSE to think about things that are true, lovely, pure, etc. If we think about all of those things and fill our minds with God’s words, we will not have room in our minds for anything negative.

          Hope you have a wonderful day!

    2. Becca,

      I have been there too. I definitely know what you mean. I had a tendency to vacillate between being too prideful and self-loathing as well. I think it is possible to be both, at different times. I think it boils down to insecurity or judging yourself by the wrong standard (which is part of what April addresses here). If your idea of being a “good woman” is wearing makeup every day, for example (I’m not saying wearing makeup is wrong, just using it as an example), then you may be compelled to “hate yourself” when you don’t have makeup on, but be really prideful when you’ve managed to apply it flawlessly on other days. Do you understand what I mean? I knew a guy (and I felt so badly for him) who would be really proud one minute and talking smack and hating on himself the next… I realized that I did the same thing! 😮

      I’m not an expert or anything, but to me, a very young child is a pretty good picture of humility to me. They know who they are; they’re not trying to be someone else, but they also don’t judge themselves based on other kids. They’re more honest with themselves but also more confident than most adults. Of course, kids aren’t perfect (we are all born into sin) but that’s just a basic idea of what I think.

      I had the mistaken assumption that if I was to be humble, I had to not like myself… but God created us and he says that if you even hate your brother in your heart, you’re committing murder… so I figure hating yourself would be along those same lines. There are lots of verses about how we’re God’s handiwork as well, so hating ourselves is, like M said, sort of like criticizing God and the job He did on you.

      That being said, it is entirely appropriate to hate our sins and want to purge those from our lives… but that’s different from hating ourselves… it’s hating a thing we do and asking God to help us “kick the habit” and transform us.

      When my husband and I first got married, I used to argue with him when he told me I was beautiful. I thought I was being humble by doing that… but finally he told me one night, “Are you saying I’m a liar?” My response was, “Well, I didn’t mean you’re a liar… I just meant I don’t think I am.” He said something like, “Well, you ARE, and when you argue with me it’s like you don’t trust me to tell you the truth. I’m not lying… you are beautiful!” I had no choice but to say, “Thanks,” because I didn’t want to call him a liar again! It was REALLY weird the first few times I said “Thank you” instead of arguing with them when they gave me a compliment, but I got to that point eventually. What I’m trying to say is that yes, this is something you’re going to need to give to God over and over again… but as long as you KEEP ON GIVING IT TO HIM and don’t give up… I believe you WILL get there, with His help!

      Another thing that helps me when I’m trying to make changes is to do the opposite of what I’m compelled to do (for example, when you feel like you want to tell yourself all that negative self-talk, find things to say about yourself that are positive instead. If the negative thoughts are totally overwhelming, then I speak out loud. Sometimes I have to tell the thoughts “No,” out loud. You may sound a bit crazy (maybe do it where no one can hear? LOL), but it really does help. 🙂

      The C.S. Lewis quote is pretty awesome. I’ve heard that before and like it a lot. If I were going to define humility (as far as our perception of ourselves), it would be something like, “Seeing ourselves as God sees us.” The Bible provides a pretty levelheaded view of mankind, in my opinion. I think that going over God’s promises and how he feels about us helps too. Yes, we are prone to sin.. but we are also His children. We know we have faults and we work on them… but even when we work on them, God shows us something new to work on with His help. We are works in progress, so to speak. This, I think, provides a balanced view where we’re not ballooning with pride but also aren’t wallowing in self-pity. 😛

      When I think about it some more, it kind of reminds me of an earthen vessel: those, too, are works in progress. We aren’t junk, but we’re not perfect either. 🙂 Romans 9:20 says, But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”

      There are a couple more verses in Isaiah along those lines as well: Isaiah 29:16 and 45:9. The context may be a bit different than the application I used, but it’s along those same lines as my husband was telling me when he said I was calling him a liar.

      Trust me… it took me a LONG time before I got to that place… but I did eventually get there. I know you will too. God bless you and you will be in my prayers. 🙂

  4. April-

    Don’t forget – his height.

    I’ve been shot down plenty of times for that one. By girls 4″ shorter than me. Oh well…

    What can ya do? 🙁

  5. Thanks for posting this April. It’s a topic I’ve been considering often recently, and is very relevant when discussing the topic of respect. When I respect my husband, that needs to come from a place of knowing my own self-worth (meekness, humility, as discussed in other comments on this thread), but also is about recognizing his worth as a person. You can’t truly respect someone you believe to be worthless, as respect IS attributing the highest value.
    I’ve spent a lot of my life in church, where (generally speaking) people are recognized for their talents and abilities. I am now working in a union environment where much of my time is spent as recognized for exactly the opposite – the time you’ve invested in the organization. You’re a number, not a gifted individual in this environment. It takes some getting used to!

    I had a friend who gave me great insight into this thought: every person is worth one unit of human value. One dollar, if you will. There are a lot of lessons to be drawn from this thought, in how we treat others AND ourselves.
    Different people can ascribe different value to that dollar, same as the exchange rate on currency at the bank. As believers, we know what value Jesus put on that dollar: it’s price was so much that it cost Him the ultimate price: his life.

    Shouldn’t we ascribe value the same way?

  6. Lovely post, ma’am. Thank you. 🙂

    I recently had a back and forth with a very dear lady friend of mine that helped me understand what pressures women have for their weight issues. I was very sad to hear the damage that it did to her. And, how it was a tragedy for such a wonderful person to be made to feel so. 🙁

    The attitude was basically like there was “no excuse” for weight problems.

    I related to it because I was stuck in a horrific job market for a long time and I hear endless venom against young men for struggling to make it (as if we just love how miserably difficult it is to find work these days), derided and ridiculed for it. Honestly I’m counting myself very blessed at the moment for how things miraculously turned around for me, yet there are millions of men who are stuck and don’t have much of any chance of building a career the way previous generations of men could–despite the fact that men are suffering even worse than women (worse unemployment) men are still held to that idea, material results being the automatic indicator of our quality, blatant attitude in Christianity that I have seen.

    I thought people usually respond to women’s issues with a nurturing spirit (as you do, among MANY others, with things like body issues). But in the case of my friend, it was that same “no excuse for lack of results” sort of attitude that kind of shocked me; crossed the line from “do your best” to “you’re worthless unless you get results.”

    1. JC,

      Women don’t get a lot of support on quite a number of issues in many places. I know it seems that we do from your perspective – and I believe women do find support here and in some forums – but family, husbands, the world, the church, and others can be very cruel to women, too. This is an extremely painful issue for millions of women. It greatly affects their sense of self-worth – which breaks my heart. And the pain form this issue drives many women to destroy themselves with anorexia or bulimia. I don’t ever want to see that happen!

      Thanks for sharing!

      1. Yeah I knew about things like “pressured to look like airbrushed supermodels” (not just your blog, but all over the place) and such, and I also know that, in general, a lot of men have the most superficial outlook imaginable with women.

        What her story told me, though, I didn’t realize the way women sometimes explicitly pressure other women in places I wouldn’t expect.

        I mean, an unemployed man (or woman) may well be lazy, and an overweight man (or woman) may be gluttonous. But it’s just a line you don’t cross when just assuming bad results automatically means bad behavior.

        Anyway, yeah I could relate to that–that was some good enlightenment. :

        Yes, it’s a tragedy for anyone to be injured like that.

  7. I have so many images in my head of Christians I’ve met personally and ministers telling how worthless a young man is if he’s failed to establish a career by “x” age. Nevermind the economy and bleak job market especially for career-starters, or the fact that these days men have to compete with women just as much as other men.

    I get that a man or woman are totally entitled to marry whoever they want–if she doesn’t like his bank account or employment status, his job, his looks, whatever, that’s her business; she’s entitled to reject a man for marriage for whatever reasons she wants, just like a man is entitled to reject a woman for whatever reasons he wants. That’s another reason why it is just so important that we remember each other as siblings in the Lord–even if we reject someone as a spouse, we’re still on the hook to love on another. 🙂

    But yeah, from so many men’s perspective, millions are suffering to get careers started–myself included, though my future is looking a LOT better than other men’s (like lots of college grads) in situations like mine. Of course, so are women. Both are getting flak for sure, but Christianity has just laid on the shame to young men in particular for it–how ashamed a man should be of himself, the amount of effort he makes aside.

    It would sure be nice to feel encouragement in those frustrating situations rather than scornful shaming–it is incredible, to me, how hard it is to get away from that. : And definitely, just to feel like your life had the value of a life apart from performance. One day at a time.

    Men do have body issues too, albeit (probably) not as bad as women, I don’t think. But then, I was only recently enlightened about how women reject men for that–height, for example. I’m only recently being enlightened about that.

    As your post shows, of course, the Bible tells so much of a different story of how much we’re worth. We try to do our best in the world but we always need to find peace that we all have value in God’s sight. Christ died for us. 🙂

    That is so much more important than what the world thinks of us–or even what WE think of us!

    It’s another act of faith, is it not? To believe how God defines us, not the world or even (as often happens) messages from churches.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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