(Fear of Worthlessness Part 3)
Last week I made you angry by saying you’re worthless. We all are. By ourselves we cannot dredge up enough usefulness or goodness to generate a value capable of withstanding our inevitable failures. Our first reaction to this reality is rebellion.
I won’t let this be true! I’ll make myself valuable and I’ll force everyone else to recognize it!
You’re probably feeling it again right about now.
I suggested since rebellion isn’t actually working we need to radically embrace our worthlessness so we can accept value from a source outside of our broken selves.
Note when I said “practice radical acceptance” last week I didn’t say radically accept the fear of worthlessness. It’s the fear that drives our rebellion. It’s the fear that prevents us from being open to a source of value outside ourselves.
The passage of Scripture I concluded with, Romans 5:6-8, ends by saying, “God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”
I hate that word. Ugh, there’s the rebellion again.
It’s that phrase “no use whatever” which made the connection to Thomas the Tank Engine in my weird mind that I discussed in Part 1 of this series. As silly as that comparison is, the concept is still right there in Scripture. Other versions like the New International Version and the English Standard Version translate it “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Our human imperfection, all the things we do and fail to do which hurt ourselves, others, and God, render us useless to him. We can’t create our own value. We can’t justify our own existence by being useful enough to God or anyone else.
But, those verses in Romans also say even while we were useless, our value and ability to accomplish our original purpose absolutely destroyed by the harm we’ve caused, “God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death”.
Why would he do that?
Why did Jesus sacrifice himself for the likes of us?
How could he love us even while we were useless?
My oldest son loves building with Legos. He makes all kinds of things, and he loves to explain to me what he’s created, all of its features and functions, it’s name, and how much he thinks he could sell it for. Then I usually take it from him and tell him everything that’s wrong with it, why it won’t work the way he said it would and can’t serve the purpose he created it for, change it’s name, and tell him it’s only worth the plastic it’s made of.
I don’t really do any of those things, but now my point is much more obvious for you:
Dorian is the only one with the right to name his creation, determine its purpose, decide the limits of its function, and set it’s value because he created it.
It’s absurd and blatantly harmful for anyone else to try and assume that right.
God is the only one with the right to name his creation, determine our purpose, decide the limits of our function, and set our value because he created us.
It’s absurd and blatantly harmful for us to try and assume that right.
Which is why trying to create and maintain our own value doesn’t work.
We were never supposed to be able to in the first place.
Self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and self-love are all dead ends because they source from “self”.
“But Sara,” you might be thinking, “Legos hold their value pretty well. People pay a lot of money for Legos.”
Yeah, people pay a lot of money for Legos – I’ve paid a lot of money for Legos, even used Legos!- because they believe the little bits of plastic are worth it. If we didn’t believe they were worth it we wouldn’t pay the price.
“God paid a ransom to save you from the impossible road to heaven which your fathers tried to take, and the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver as you very well know. But he paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”1 Peter 1:18-19 The Living Bible
Jesus values us at the cost of his own life. God values us at the cost of his own grief and suffering.
We don’t have to radically accept the fear of worthlessness because we don’t have to be afraid of God. He won’t throw us away like we throw away the things (and sometimes the people) who are no longer useful to us.
We can radically accept our self-worthlessness and allow our Creator to supply our value.
“We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us. So you see, our love for him comes as a result of his loving us first.”1 John 4:18-19 The Living Bible
I know the idea of letting go of controlling our own value is scary.
Remember, you can be scared and do the scary thing at the same time.
It’s worth it.
The results are greater than we could have imagined!
We will talk more about that next week.
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