Scriptures

Understanding Your Value

Introduction

Self Identity: Understanding Your Value

Words and their definition mean a lot and affects how we view, see or accept things.

So let us first look at certain words and their meaning.

What Does Understand Mean?

It’s a Verb. In English: it means

To Perceive (grasp, see, take in, discern, know, realise, get, follow, figure out, make sense: like a light bulb moment, a aha!…. moment)……

The intended meaning of (words, a language, or a speaker) OR the significance, explanation, or cause of…

To interpret or view (something) in a particular way from the information received

To appreciate · recognize · realize · acknowledge · know · be aware of aware of the character or nature of someone or something.

In Hebrew: the deeper meaning can be found in a related verbal root – בנה (banah) which means to “build or construct” from knowledge in a more personal and intimate way.

In Greek: A rational reflection or inner contemplation

To personally and intimately fully grasp, figure out, realise, make sense and appreciate in depth, an information or the nature or character of something or someone.

What Does Value Mean?

English: An amount of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent to swap for something else; a fair price or return for something e.g. the amount of money that can be received for something:

The quality of anything which renders it desirable or useful: the value of sunlight or good books.

The Worth of something or someone especially spiritual qualities of mind and character, or moral excellence

The benefit of something for someone

Hebrew: Price, worth

Greek: value, worth, merit

An amount, cost, price, quality, worth, merit, moral excellence or benefit of something or someone.

So we are going to try to fully grasp, figure out, realise, make sense and have an in depth appreciation of ourselves in terms of our nature and character.

Then the question would have to be how would you value yourself? What are you worth in terms of price; quality; what do you deserve; how morally excellent are you and of what benefit are you to others?

The World’s View

We should value ourselves in terms of :

1. Physical Appearance:

This is extremely important and in some cases carries the most weight.

A healthy person is better than a sickly person

A big strong muscular person is better than a small weak person

A young (but not too young) person is better than an old (but not too old) person

Other people’s opinions of how I should look to fit in is extremely important.

Examples:

1. Samuel anoints Saul after Israel rejected God as their king and wanted a human king like the nations around them:

‘There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel.  Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.’ 1 Samuel 9:1-2

‘Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!” 1 Samuel 10:24

The people saw how handsome Saul was.  He fitted their expectation of how a king should look. He was worthy of being a king to them and they accepted him.

2. Samuel goes to anoint David

‘When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab (the eldest) and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. PEOPLE LOOK AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.”  Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the LORD chosen this one.”  Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.”  So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”  “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”  Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 1 Samuel 16:6-12

3. Isaiah’s description of the Messiah

‘Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.’ Isaiah 53:1-3

Jesus, the Messiah, looked like the average person. He did not stand out from anyone physically. He was not the kind of saviour they wanted and so was rejected.

It’s no different today.  TV adverts, magazines, social media etc all telling us that our value, cost, worth, moral excellence is in our physical appearance. How we look and dress.

2. Things we own: which is very important and we have to strive for and chase after at all cost.

Own a car(s) -e.g. Mercedes Benz, BMW, 4×4, Lexus, , a plane, helicopter

A house(s) -preferably a big one and lots of land;

The need / importance to be wealth- aim to be a millionaire, billionaire etc; the need to play the lottery.

Own servants, have your own business empire

If you don’t have any of these you are not somebody.  You have not made it. You are not at the top of the ladder! Keep striving until you get it.

3. The need to be famous as a sense of achievement.

Reality TV is on the rise. Be on Tick-tock, you tube  and show how wonderful, funny and entertaining you are. Achieve the greatest number of followers of Facebook, Twitter at any cost.

In terms of moral excellence and of what benefit we are to others? Well,…

My opinion of what I think and how I think and my freedom to do what I like is what counts.

As long as I help someone sometime, and I am not directly hurting you personally then I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and however I want.

Homosexuality, fornication, adultery, lying, cheating, greed, blaspheme, jealousy etc are all normal.

Its ok for me to think badly of someone and be short tempered with them and even never forgive them when they hurt me, but I expect to be treated better even if I hurt someone.

I can cheat others as long as it’s the government or the rich.

Its ok to look down on the homeless-they should get a job; the drug addict-they should know better.

I work hard. Enjoy your work if possible. Eat drink and be happy.  What does it matter, tomorrow I will die.  Nothing happens after death.

One of the problems with all these is we are never satisfied.  We are always comparing ourselves with others, always striving to be better and perfect in the world’s eyes.  If this is not achievable then self-abasement, depression, rejection can set in.

It also sees Man as just a physical being and not one with a soul and a spirit made in the image of the Creator.

Satan’s View

He is our accuser, Revelation 12:10.  He says we only serve God for what we get.  He wants us to fail and fall and claim we deserve it because we are sinners, Job 1:1-11.  He tempts us by deceiving us to think we don’t need God, God is depriving us and we can’t trust God.

He uses our desires to tempt us and separate from God and be destroyed, Geneses 3:1-19 / Ephesians 2:1-3) .  He reminds us through the world that there is no life after death and God does not exist.  Everything is God’s fault, someone else’s fault and never my fault.

Then if we feel the guilt and shame of our actions, he tells us we have no value and don’t deserve grace.  We are unfaithful and can be easily enticed away.  So we might as well lust after the things of this world.

His instruction for all of us is : If you see it, desire it, want it, crave it, then what’s stopping you… get it.

It’s your right. Be proud of it.

1 John 2:16-17 refers to it as the “Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life” and reminds us that everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

The world and Satan place a very high value on the physical but God tells us otherwise.  God tells us we are made in His image and look like Him.  He tells us our value, price worth and moral excellence exceeds what Satan and the world tells us.

So I ask again. How do you value yourself? What are you worth in terms of price and quality? How do you measure it? What do you deserve? How morally excellent are you and of what benefit are you to others?

Time: How do you spend your time, effort and energy?

Each day, what you spend your waking time, thoughts and effort on, is what is important to you.  This will dictate which viewpoint you see yourself and your value.

Do you spend most of your time on godly things or worldly things? For our lives are like a vapour each day is all we are given, Hebrews 9:27 / James 4:14.

Physical appearance: Is this priority in your life.   Is elaborate hairstyles, jewellery, expensive clothes worth more to you than faithfulness, modesty and good deeds, 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

Model: Who do you aspire to be like? Who is your role model? Whose life and morality are you following or looking up to?  Celebrities, Friends? Are their life goals, desires and way of life in line with yours? Is the world or God their role model?

Wealth: Is the amount you have in your pocket, bank account a statement your worth and love? Do you spend most of your time chasing money over and above loving and trusting God?

Worry: Food, clothing, shelter and money- the necessities of life- the world worries and chases after these without God.  Do you do the same or do you believe what Jesus said in Luke 12:29-31, about trusting God to provide while you serve Him.

You can work hard, study hard but not at the expense of God and His word. I know what it is to be without and God has always provided what I need when I needed it.

Morality and Thoughts: Are your moral compass, words and thoughts like the world’s or like Christ?

1 John 2:15-17 reminds us not to love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Why follow God’s view rather than the world’s view of your value/worth?

1. We are made in God’s image and likeness:

‘Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.’ Genesis 1:26-27

2. We are more than just physical beings:

‘May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Therefore stop and think of what value you put on yourself. Don’t just look at your outward appearance, what you have or don’t have; how well you speak or how many languages you speak; or how much education you have.  These things are important but your value and worth is far more than these because you are more than a physical being.

You are made in God’s image and likeness with a spirit and a soul in your physical body.  Value yourself through God’s view of what you are worth.

Your true value is in who made you and why you were made.  You should measure your worth and moral excellence with God’s standard.  Its God who defines your true purpose, value, worth or price no matter what the world says.

We will be talking more about this at the next meeting.

Go To Next Lesson, God knows your value

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Acts 2:38

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