Have you ever felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders? Have you ever wondered if you measure up? Have you ever been treated like you lack personal value?
We all struggle with self-image to a point. We live in a culture where we are told we have to think a certain way, do certain things, accomplish specific tasks, and make distinct choices in order to be valued-liked-loved-needed and significant.
Mothers are perhaps some of the most-underappreciated of all. I could certainly do a better job of showing my wife how much I appreciate her. All the music in this post comes from conversations we have had and she has shared all these songs with our daughters to encourage them.
In Christianity, we believe that every person has value and deserve to be appreciated on the simple basis of being created in the image of God. God made humans with a special value and therefore all people should be treated with dignity and respect.
But we live in a fallen world. We continually struggle to measure up in our culture.
“Try” by Colbie Caillat
We think we have to make ourselves who others expect us to be.
We often feel like we have no voice when others mistreat us. We are often conditioned in our culture to take criticism and refrain from standing up for ourselves.
“Brave” by Sara Bareilles
The thing is. We do have value. You have value. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to do what God has called you to do. Don’t feel like you have to measure up to the worlds standard for success. Don’t even think that you have to measure up to the standard of success established by the Christian Sub-Culture.
“Dream Small” by Josh Wilson
Everything we do matters–even the little things. God desires for us to live a simple life. He wants us to serve him and he wants us to find peace in who we are regardless of who the world says we should be.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another…but we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
This week weigh your words, don’t use them as weapons. Treat others well. See people for who they are and not who you or the culture expects them to be. Think about the small world around you. Share God’s Kingdom in that sphere. Point others to Christ.
Rest knowing that God sees you for who you really are and that he desires a heart that desires him above physical appearance. Embrace your flaws, recognize your value, stand up for yourself, and pay attention to the small things around you. You are important and so are the small things.
Dr. Scott Shiffer has a Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and has been teaching religion classes since 2006. He leads Transformation Media Ministries, an organization to help believers think biblically about culture in America. Scott has given numerous presentations including one at Oxford. He has spoken at church retreats, youth retreats, conferences, and has taught discipleship classes for over 10 years. Scott is married and has three children. He has a heart for helping believers draw closer to God and for aiding them as they are faced with new challenges in America every day.