the debate over your self-worth

Who do you listen to in the debate over your self-worth? Your answer will determine a good bit of your life journey.

I’m amazed at times when I’m listening to someone unknowingly describe their self-worth. They share with me about a time when someone else said something hurtful to them. That other person’s “assessment” rocked them to their core, and they still remember it all these years later. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”? Yeah, right.

Words are powerful.

If someone is close to you, it’s easy to assume all their criticisms of you are factual. We tend to downplay the compliments and replay the negative hurtful criticism, over and over again. 

Unfortunately, gullibility is part of the broken human condition. We have to consciously push back against the tendency to believe the worst about ourselves. Partly because we know who we are, flaws and all, and partly because we are searching for affirmation that we are valuable in the wrong places and voices. Over time, it’s easy to absorb messages sent our way that breed shame.

The source we should consider…

God, on the other hand, wants to enter the debate over your self-worth. Too often, we resist him.

His love and the value he places on us are easy to consider IN THEORY. We’re often even more eager to believe it’s true about others than ourselves.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.


Let God enter the debate. Listen to His arguments, what He has to say about you. If you do, His voice will win out. And your life will be better for it.

Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.

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