rebelling against low expectations

How can I know my worth?


FAITH WRITES: Throughout my life I’ve been emotionally abused and neglected. I’ve been told that I am worthless, and treated as though I am. Because of these things, I developed trust issues and a messed up understanding of what it means to be loved. I’ve never doubted God’s love, but having those lies thrown at me on a regular basis continually hurts the way I see myself.

I know that ultimately my worth comes from God, and that in His eyes I’m flawless. After struggling with these things for so long, that’s not so easy for me to remember all the time. I know that God doesn’t make worthless things, so I’m not worthless, but I struggle with continually having that mindset. How can I always know my worth, even when I’m continually facing negativity?

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  • Anyone who tells you you’re worthless is telling a lie, just as ridiculous as if someone told you the sun is really green. You are made in the image of God, nothing can give you more worth than that.

    And you know that your worth doesn’t come from you, what you look like, your achievements, your personality. It comes from God and His Son’s death to redeem you.

    So my only advice would be to everyday think about and remember that your worth doesn’t come from you. That is both incredibly humbling and freeing. And every time you start to doubt your worth, hold that thought captive, and remember it’s a lie. Don’t lie, even to yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Your priceless. How do you know? That’s easy listen to what you know is truth vs. what you know is a lie. If you can’t discern the truth from a lie, then you may be holding on to a lie yourself. Don’t believe the lies. Jesus suffered, died, and rose again for you, and that may be one of the greatest indications of your worth.

    Be strong and courageous, my brother.

    God bless you.

  • I was talking to my brother about this late last night.

    To be honest, as Kaira said, our worth is not in us. It is from God. On our own, our “good” deeds are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But through his grace, God chose to redeem us. He made us in his image, and he wants for us to be happy. What helps me is to remember that our ultimate purpose in life is not to have our best life now, but to bring glory to him. So, even though life might be hard sometimes, we can find joy in serving him.

    Don’t know whether that helped or not, but that’s all I got ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You are absolutely NOT worthless! I don’t know you, but I do know that you’re made in the image of God, so you are a beautiful and amazing human being. I would encourage you to pray about this daily and give God a chance to remind you how much He loves you. Surround yourself with people who will tell you how lovely you are. Also, maybe you could find a Bible study (or just create your own) that takes you through several verses and passages that would help.

  • This quote from a man who followed God’s call as a missionary for 40 years helped me: โ€œIโ€™m not worthy, most of all, but my unworthiness does not disqualify me from the call of God.โ€ โ€“Arthur Blessitt

  • I know exactly how you’ve been feeling, Faith. And I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again that Jesus’ love for you is sufficient for your joy.

    One practical thing that you can do to make your joy come more and more alive in your life and in your soul is by praying that God does so. The more you pray, you’re faith and trust is built on His power to sustain you.

    Another practical way of approaching this is reminding yourself of the blessing that you do have, and surrounding yourself with peers and mentors that don’t discourage you, but rather build you up. If you haven’t found that kind of community, pray that God will bring those people into your life too. (Heck, I’ll make sure I pray that for you too!)
    One of the many fruits of God coming alive in your joy after praying, is when you wake up one day and spend more time thinking less about your struggles and focusing on loving other people. John 13:35 says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    And 2 Corinthians 12:9 also says, “But he [Paul] 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.”

    And also 2 Timothy 1:7, “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” God’s love is a solid rock for you! Don’t forget that!

    I’ll be praying that God will send people into your life to give you joy, Faith! I thank God for you, thanks for posting this and being open!

  • Faith, I don’t know what you’re going through right now. But I do know this: Christ has made you a new creature! You are dead to sin, and alive in Christ. He CHOSE to die on the cross so that you could spend eternity with him.
    Now, knowing this, you can choose to reach out in love to the rest of the world. For me, it’s always helpful when I feel worthless to focus on helping others instead of focusing on everything that’s wrong in my life. You’d be amazed at how fulfilling helping others can be.
    And also, it might be a good idea to talk to the people that make you feel worthless. I know, it’s rough! But they may not even know how they’re making you feel.
    Hope this helps!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You’re not flawless in God’s eyes. Welcome to sanctification.

    Stop thinking about your worth and start thinking about his.

    • I don’t know if you meant it this way, but your response sounds very snarky and insensitive. Have you not ever struggled to feel loved by God? Of course we need to think of God’s immeasurable awesomeness and omnipotence, but that doesn’t mean we just shove down our own struggles and emotions. Part of sanctification is learning to be content with God’s love and squelching out the insecurities.

      Song of Solomon 4:7 says “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” This is how God views us, his beloved. My mom actually wrote this verse on a notecard and taped it to my bathroom mirror so I see every time I see myself. (I would recommend that for you, Faith!)

      God removes our sin from us as far as the East is from the West (infinitely), and he counts us as blameless. I’m not saying we don’t have to work through the sanctification process with the Holy Spirit (I fully agree with you on that point), however, the whole point of Christ’s sacrifice was so we COULD be blameless before God (how else would we receive eternal life?).

      I hope this all makes sense:)

      God Bless,

      • I think you and Faith are talking about a different kind of flaw, Becca. It seems to me that Fighting Falcon is saying that we’re sinful and thus flawed, whereas you and Faith aren’t saying you’re not righteous, you’re just saying that God loves you incredibly anyway. So much that he died for us, and formed us from one cell, and has watched over us ever since.

        • And men are supposed to love their wives the way Christs loved/loves the church, right? God set the example for romantic love with his endless pursuit of us, and gives an example of that romantic, passionate love in Song of Solomon. He also uses the husband/wife analogy when referring to His people many times in the Old Testament (mostly the prophets, Hosea is a great example=D) sorry if that all sounds a little fuzzy, I hope it makes sense, I’m just incredibly tired right now:P

    • Fighting Falcon, I understand where you’re coming from and I agree with you, but I wonder if you would consider re-wording your comment in light of Faith’s situation. She’s been abused and neglected. She knows she’s sinful, but she’s struggling to remember that God loves her anyway. For someone in her situation, your comment might appear mean and insensitive. No offense, I hope. If I wrote something that sounded mean, I’d want to be told.

    • Actually, I would disagree with you, @Fighting_Falcon:disqus. We are flawless in God’s eyes because as believers, Jesus has taken the punishment for our sins. Jesus’s death wiped us clean of our sin if we choose to ask his for his salvation. God does know our flaws, but he values us as redeemed individuals. So, in a sense, you are right in that he does know our sins. But I do not think that he values Christians eternally as sinners, but as redeemed children.

      Galations 2:20 says: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but thirst who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

      Titus 3:4-7
      But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

      One more thing. I have observed over the last couple of weeks that you really struggle with the wording in your comments. Others have called you out on it here and elsewhere. As someone who has struggled in the past with confrontational-sounding conversations/emails/comments/etc., I wanted to offer some advice that I have found helps a lot. I

      know it is very easy (especially if you are a blunt person like me) to say something with the intention of advice, and have it come out very hurtful. The best way to avoid this in conversation is to practice the “think twice” technique, where you work on intentionally thinking through something that you are going to say and ask how it contributes to the conversation, as well as how the other person will react the comment. Many times, I have said something that I thought was funny or just plain old honest, and it was taken as unkind or insensitive.

      The best way to avoid this in emails or the internet is to have a sibling, friend, or adult pre-read anything you send or post that has the slightest chance of being confrontational. The best policy is: if you aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to get another perspective! Now, I know that it isn’t practical to exercise this technique for the rest of your life, but maybe try exercising it in areas where you struggle the most for a limited period of time.

      For me, as time went on I was able to discern more easily how my emails/comments/etc. might be perceived by others and I didn’t need that extra “filter” anymore. Every once in a while though, if I am writing a particularly confrontational email, I still ask for someone to pre-read it. Believe me, it has saved me much sorrow!

      Please don’t take this advice as hurtful. I am genuinely trying to help. Like I said, I struggle with this as well, and these are a few things that have helped me win the battle over my tongue! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Bo, we do need to think about God’s worth, but we actually are flawless in God’s eyes if we have been covered with Christ’s righteousness.

      And sometimes we do need to think about our worth, especially when we’ve been fed lies about being worthless. We are loved and cherished by God.

  • Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote that I thought might help you…

    God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes
    in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16) No human would die for an ant. An ant is
    not that valuable. Ants can be annoying, troublesome little pests. What human
    would die in the place of some stupid ants? It sounds crazy to die for an ant,
    yet compared to God, you are more miniscule that a tiny ant. If God really did
    die for you, even considering how insignificant you are compared to him, you
    must be pretty special in his eyes. When youโ€™re a Christian you can say that
    you are Godโ€™s adopted child through his incredible sacrifice. That is who you
    are! You are someone whose worth comes from the fact that God gave his life so
    that you could become his adopted child!”

  • One thing that helps me to know my worth is that I am Jesus messenger. I think of it as a battle and how I and the Lord together are fighting the flesh, the devil, and the world. If I am in the service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords then it means that I am doing something worthwhile. We are not to worry about our reputation and spend our time defending ourselves. Matthew 6:33 says: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    But rather strive to defend God’s reputation. When in success you can feel your worth by how you serve, and in the rough times just trust in God.

  • Hello, Miss Faith ๐Ÿ™‚
    I will start out by saying what you have already heard… you are loved by God in a way so perfect, that we can’t even comprehend it. But I know that hearing things over and over doesn’t always change very much. So Here’s a few things that I hope help you to practically preach His truth to yourself as you go about your daily life.

    1. Pray. Sorry to start with the unoriginal, cliche answer, but fellowship with the truth-Giver is essential in every aspect of our lives. And please know that I will certainly be praying for you, sister ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Surround yourself with truth. Post-it notes are your friend here ๐Ÿ˜‰ Placing solid Bible truth around you room (or locker, or computer, or the lock screen on your device of choice, or whatever) to combat the lies of worthlessness can help keep our minds focused on Jesus, the Author of our worth.

    3. Surround yourself with people who will point you to truth. Because I know it can be so very hard to go through this alone. Jesus designed us to need fellowship with Him, and other humans.

    And I know, it may not help you at all to hear it one more time, but you are priceless, Faith. Truly.

    Your sister in Christ,

  • Faith, we sang this song at my church this afternoon, and I immediately thought of you. It’s a beautiful song that applies to all of us, because our worth is not in what anyone else thinks of us. Even if we are completely despised in the world, we can remember that Jesus suffered immensely–just because he loves you. Absorb the words of this song, knowing they are true, and they are for you.

  • @Fighting_Falcon:disqus … Perhaps it would help if you took the time to identify what lies and meaningless platitudes you are referring to. Maybe do a compare and contrast.

    For example, “This is a lie” and “This is the truth.” Or “This is a meaningless platitude” and “This is what the Bible says.”

    You keep saying things like “this problem” and “the same lies” โ€” but until you clearly identify what you are addressing (and offer a clear alternative) it doesn’t help anyone. It just puts people on the defensive.

    Hope that makes sense. =)

    • Duly noted… I do have some thing along these lines written, outlining what is wrong and why, but my laptop is out of power and I won’t get my cord for a day or two. iPhones aren’t the best for making theological arguments.

  • Hiya. I can in a way understand what Faith may feel like. I have mental disability and sometimes wonder about if I am worth anything and in some cases feel worthless because of a mix of chronic depression and Satan’s lies. God cares about you and can help you. Any lies other humans or lies Satan may tell you are not worth listening to. Life is hard both you and I know that. Jesus redeemed us when he saved us. Satan is using other people’s negativity about you to make you hate yourself. I wish I could talk to you in person but I can’t. You are NOT worthless in God’s eyes know that for sure. God Bless Ya. – TheAutisticTeen. Faith, if you are reading this, don’t hesitate to text or email me. If you need somebody to talk to, I’m always here. 3366759547 or [email protected] . God loves ya Faith!

  • This is something I’ve been trying to grow in for a while as well, and I’m coming to realize it’s a process, not something that happens overnight. I know, deep down, that I am loved by God (the Creator of the universe, who died in my place!), but many times my thought patterns don’t reflect that. I’m finding out it’s a moment by moment, day by day thing. I know you want immediate healing, but I promise God walks with you every step of the way.

    Practically, my biggest tip would be to dwell in the Word, getting to know your God and His great love for You. And pray continually, asking God to show you His love. It won’t necessarily look like you expect, but I know you’ll come to see His love in real ways.

    Just keep pressing on!

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace.

  • First off, I have no idea what your situation is. You say it’s been hard- and I completely believe you. For worth, I struggle with this as well. I suggest memorizing Psalm 139:14

    “I will praise thee, for I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are thy works, and that my soul knows right well.”

    Also, Isaiah 40 speaks on this. It’s one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Verse 11(?) speaks on how God holds his lambs close to his heart and cares for them. But it helps sometimes to have Psalm 139:14 put to memory in order that it will come to mind in those dark moments.

  • I think there’s something in all of us that feels worthless until we have something to worship. Ultimately we’re made to to worship God so that where we find our worth and become who we’re ment to be.

    I don’t know you of course, but at least when I’m depressed, it’s usually because I’m worshipping something worthless. A good family situation, rad climbing skills, or an arm that works aren’t bad things but they make miserable gods — and my miserable gods make me miserable.

    This might not be you situation at all, I don’t know, but either way Jesus is the only one worth living for and he will bring you joy even when it’s crazy hard. Pray a lot. Stay in the Word. Be open with your church. Hope this helps!

  • Wow, that’s really rough. And yet, your name is completely fitting for the circumstance — throughout all the trials you’ve had, your faith has clearly blossomed, Faith! While none of us can completely relate, and there’s already a bunch of fantastic scripture-based insight below, there are two additional dimensions that are worth highlighting.

    (1) What Jesus did on the Cross was final and complete. Whenever we’re tempted to think “I am not good enough” or “I should stop trying”, we’re implicitly telling God that Jesus’ sacrifice was not enough. And yet, when Jesus defeated death, the war was won — although the battle still continues as we persevere amidst the trials of this earth. Whenever we’re tempted to doubt or feel sad, just look at the Cross — it was there that Jesus died for you!

    (2) Paul says in Romans: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God has shown time and time again that things seemingly impossible are in fact possible. Abraham becoming a father of nations? Done. Parting the Red Sea? Done. Raising the dead to life? Done. The list is endless — not to mention Paul’s conversion being a complete miracle in and of itself. Anything worth anything in this world requires struggle, but Jesus tells us that He will be with us through it all. By leveraging the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do the things that the world might call impossible, but that are completely within God’s power to achieve.

    And PS, Becca, wonderful excerpt from Songs of Solomon!

  • I think I know what you’re saying, and if I understand you correctly, we agree. Sometimes I think self-worth is overdone in our Western culture. We’re constantly told to love ourselves, and think of good things about ourselves. We are all sinful wrecks, and I’m pretty sure Faith understands this.
    My impression is that she’s struggling to remember that God values her DESPITE her sinfulness. All of us deserve eternity in he1l and the suffering of Job for our sins, but God values us anyway. Are we on the same page?

  • My grandmother was emotionally abused by her older brother and father growing up. I’m not gonna lie, she still struggles with self-worth. But I also see that because she turned to Jesus Christ she has been able to overcome a lot and has blessed so many people. She truly is a beautiful person. I would encourage you, Faith, to look to Jesus as your ultimate self-worth.
    Don’t let people’s words and actions determine who you are. Look to a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
    Maybe when you’re older or even now, going to a counselor or therapist might be a good idea.
    Get out beyond yourself and serve. Get connected with other hurting people and share your story. you might find that when you stop focusing on yourself and your problems, the issues you have somehow don’t seem so major. Hope this helps, dearie! I’ll be praying for you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi Faith! I’m so sorry you’ve been hearing these lies your whole life. It is so much easier to believe what you’ve always been told than to counter it with the truth.

    MercyMe has a powerful song called Flawless (you may have heard it) that talks about our new identity in Christ.

    I recently heard a verse that very much encouraged me in this area:

    “They shall be Mine,โ€ says the Lord of hosts,
    โ€œOn the day that I make them My jewels.
    And I will spare them
    As a man spares his own son who serves him.โ€ Malachi 3:17

    You are His jewel! Whenever you start to doubt your worth, think about all the things He says about you. You are His jewel, His workmanship, a new creation, the light of the world, daughter of God, the bride of Christ, part of His body, a temple of the Holy Spirit, more than a conqueror.

    Amanda <3

  • Fighting_Falcon Thank you so much for taking the time to reply so extensively. I definitely understand where you are coming from, even if I still don’t agree with the way you chose to say it. I did want to apologize for mis-interpreting your words. I have printed the comment out so that I can go over it at some point and hopefully think through a good way to present my disagreement in a honest and agreeable manner. I hope that some of the other commenters will have a bit more freedom with their time and are able to reply to your comment. I do have a few questions that struck me when I first read your comment.

    Do you believe that our worth does not matter, or that we are worthless?

    Do you think that Jesus’s death on the cross is an indication of how precious we are to him?

    If someone was sitting across from you at lunch and told you that they had decided that they were worthless to everyone, including God, and decided to take their own life, would you tell them what you have said in this comment? Even if they had been told that they were indeed worthless their whole life by everyone around them? That they meant nothing?

    As a person who has been in this exact position, I couldn’t have given the answer “read your Bible more, and discover God’s truth” or “pray and worship more” or “just serve others, and you will no longer feel worthless”. These actions of obedience do create an awe for the Lord, and bring glory to him, but I think they must come out of a heart that trusts. Trust is not built by not valuing a person. No, in a relationship, trust is build through a mutual understanding and appreciation of worth. If I truly value God, and I know that he truly values me, I will want to serve him out of a glad heart.

    Anyway, these were just some of my first thoughts when I first read your comment. I’m not trying to accuse you of making any of the statements that I asked in my questions, I’m just trying to clarify your position. I also wanted to tell you that at the very base of it, I do agree with a lot of what you said. I think that the place where we part ways is when you ignore the importance of feeling valued by God. I think it is important, and I think that obedience can come out of that.

    • Haley,

      Thanks for the response! Don’t worry, I totally understand the time constraint. I’ll try to answer your questions as well as I can.

      Do you believe that our worth does not matter, or that we are worthless?
      This is a hard question to answer, because I’m not really certain that I understand what the word “worth” means. That said, as to my current understanding of the word gleaned from the uses of it on this comment thread, as well various references by those heavily-breathed, emotional-keyword-saturated, repetitively-chorded pop-Christian feel-good songs sung by weak men chicly clad in jeans tighter than their hold on theology; no, I don’t think it matters much.

      Do you think that Jesus’s death on the cross is an indication of how precious we are to him?
      Yes, similarly to how I believe that Jesus’s death on the cross is an indication that somewhere a tree was cut down, and somewhere else fragments of iron where blacksmithed into nails. But while these things are of course necessarily true, I don’t think it would be constructive to go preaching a sermon on that, and I also don’t think it constructive to go preaching a sermon on something so abstract and unhelpful as “worth.”

      Ok, now the hard part of this. Suicide is something that I would very, very much not like to go near. It’s so easy to say something stupid, and I’ve not spent nearly enough time studying scripture to be able to address it properly. So, what I’m about to say is purely based on my own experience and does not necessarily have any real basis in truth anywhere else than in said narrow experience. In essence, take it or leave it.

      For my limited exposure to suicidal tendencies, I far more often find that it comes from guilt of sin in relation to God rather than lack of worth in relation to self. But, I can’t see a discussion about on those lines becoming in any way productive. I simply have no authority to speak to that area. If, however, you are merely asking what I would do were I placed in the situation you described, what I would say to them wouldn’t be very different at all from what I said in my previous comment.

      Thanks again for the response,

      • @botheveryserious:disqus, I’m afraid I just don’t agree with you. I used the example of suicide to try and give human example of when worth might be important. I think that I finally understand the core disagreement that we have. You said it in bold in your comment: “guilt of sin in relation to God rather than lack of worth in relation to self.” This is point where I would strongly disagree. I have a friend who struggles with being suicidal in relation to abuse. She was abused when she was very young, emotionally and in other ways. She was told by someone who she was supposed to trust that she was worthless, than no one loved her, that there was no one who wanted her. This person was her father. A man who she was supposed to obey out of trust and love had broken that trust, and instead she obeyed him out of fear. This abuse was in no way her fault. It was NOT her sin. But she still, to this day, carries the weight of those words.

        She struggles to trust that God loves her and will take care of her because the very person in her life who was supposed to value her and care for her broke her trust. She is a believer. She has to fight every single day to trust God. To believe that he loves her and values her enough to die on that cross for her. This is the core of salvation. We, as individuals, must not be so proud that we believe that we don’t need God. But wouldn’t it also be tragic for a person to get to a place in their life where they believed that God didn’t want them?

        We should absolutely obey God because he is awesome (emphasis on the awe), but we are called to trust him in everything. As I said in my previous comment, it is about a relationship between God and that person. That is beauty of God! He is this omnipotent creator who is all-powerful, but he still wants to have a relationship with every individual. It is not a one-way relationship. We respond to his love in a obedient and joyful fashion.

        But if a person does not feel that God values them at all, than all of the rest of it is a moot point. I realize that this is an extreme case that I presented, and I do agree that, for the most part, we do put too much emphasis on self. Sin does get in the way of our obedience. Sometimes our sin is even related to self-worth, as you said. But I do believe that worth is something that MANY people struggle with. It can be overcome, by God’s grace. It may be hard to relate to if you have never experienced the struggle, but I know many people who do, and I know that I do myself. If we cannot overcome the worth issue, all of the rest of salvation, God’s grace, his commandments, etc., are not applicable.

        Ok, I have to go. This will probably be my last comment. I think that this debate has been good for me, but my mind has certainly not been changed about the importance of self-worth. Thank your for presenting your arguments in a logical manner.


  • We are an overcome by the blood of Jesus and nothing can separate us from the love of God and you are more than a conqueror Romans 8:37-39

  • Honestly, all I can say is that that is a complete and utter lie. Faith B. brought up this verse in Romans “Neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Everyone has tremendous worth in His eyes. Another one of my favorite verses is Eph 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God does NOT make worthless things! There was no mistake when you were born. God was thinking about and planning your life far before you were even conceived. I will be praying for you!

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsโ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More โ†’