As I was scrolling through Pinterest the other day I came across a quote. It caught my attention because it was under the category of loving oneself. It read: When you start seeing your worth, you’ll find it harder to stay around people who don’t.
I jotted down the words and kept scrolling only to find so many more quotes along the same lines.
Our first instinct when we read words like that is to do a little fist pump. Yes! Sweet validation. A reminder that we don’t have to let people treat us however they want. We are completely justified in cutting the ties and building the walls.
And I don’t think you’ll find many who will argue with you on the point. Some are more forgiving than others. But most of us have an invisible line that we’ve drawn that divides grace for others and love for ourselves.
But what if… the truth of the matter is that we have it all wrong?
The world shouts to us to look out for number one, to do you, to claim your own truth and to never tolerate anyone who doesn’t see your worth.
But the Word… the Word tell us an entirely different story. The Word says to forgive seventy times seven. To bear all things, to hope all things. That if someone forces you to go a mile, go two miles. The Word says give.
But how can that line up with taking care of ourselves? With loving ourselves?
It only makes sense when we realize that knowing our worth isn’t what WE think we’re worth but what Christ says we’re worth. And usually the reasons for the two are very far apart.
Think back to before the crucifixion. I wonder if it were really possible for the disciples to fully understand the worth of Jesus. To completely grasp all that He was and all that He would do.
Yet, Jesus remained. Teaching, loving, leading.
When He knew that His time was near, He still washed the feet of those that would betray, abandon and deny Him.
He wasn’t a doormat. He wasn’t being taken advantage of. Because Jesus knew His worth. He knew that it wasn’t the people who were using Him, but God. God was using Him to fulfill His great plan. To save the lost.To heal the sick. To bind up the brokenhearted. To set free the captives.
We hold on to our own version of worth. We sit on it and hide it. Because we can’t help but lift ourselves up. We can’t help but demand praise for ourselves. To demand respect. To demand we be treated more than fairly.
Someone hurts us, criticizes us, betrays us, or even takes too long moving out of the way in the grocery store and the nature of what the world calls worth comes out. It’s ugly. Mean. Hateful.
But when we look to Christ for our worth we see things differently. It’s through Christ that we are called children of God. It’s through Christ that we have been redeemed. Through Him that we have been spared. Through Him that we are made righteous. And it’s through Him that we should live. And love.
Loving yourself is not holding yourself up, refusing to accept correction or conviction, or fighting for your own benefit. Loving yourself, realizing your worth, is knowing that you don’t have to do any of those things. You are worth more than anything you can fight to achieve in this world alone.
You have a bigger purpose. A bigger calling. He’s not asking you to be a doormat. He’s asking you to trust Him with the process. He’s making things happen even if you can’t see them right now.
There’s no room for two here. You’ll either serve yourself or you’ll serve God. You’ll either promote yourself or you’ll promote God. And somedays, most days, it’ll feel like a constant battle between the two choices.
Don’t get down when that happens. Know that there is a strange reassurance in our wrestling these things out. It means that hope is not lost. We have not been forgotten. We have not forgotten.
So today, love yourself enough to bow low. To wash the feet, to endure the pain and trust that those things do not define you. Your identity is not something that mere man can strip away. You are chosen. Chosen by God for this life, this time, this thing.