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What does this mean for me? Article 3

How do you measure your value?

How do you measure your value? Do you play the comparison game?

A student is convinced that worth is measured in GPAs. A mom works hard to raise her kids and yet fails the “white glove test” for dust on the mantle. A dad sees one dandelion in the front yard and none in his neighbor’s yard.

Do you measure your value in stuff? Just watch the commercials that promise happiness, value, and a sense of self-importance if you get this car, drink that drink, eat at that restaurant, wear those clothes. Marketing isn’t just about selling a product. It’s convincing you that you matter more if you have their product.

Do you obsess about the status of your social media pages? Social media promises value with each “like.” So we change our profile picture to make sure that everyone knows that we support the latest trend so that more people will see us, accept us, like us, or maybe even sympathize with us.

Are these things in and of themselves bad? No! But do you see these things as a metric by which you can measure your value? The problem is not always with the stuff but that we believe that a lower GPA, a little dust, a dandelion, the wrong product, and fewer social media likes diminish our value and our worth.

Finding value

All of this is centered on justification. Justification is an action of showing something to be right or righteous. As human beings, we so often try to justify our own actions, our own worth, our own value, our own existence. How often have you found yourself looking for self-justification with the stuff of this world, your comparative status standing next to someone else, or the number of people who have said they like your posts? How often have you found that those things don’t really justify you? They don’t actually give you more worth—at least not lasting worth.

Read the book of Ecclesiastes and see how much all of that is worth, as the Teacher bemoans a world that is “meaningless.”

Value is given

But what if you don’t have to justify yourself? What if you don’t have to prove your own worth? What if your value isn’t dependent on the approval of others? The apostle Peter writes, “You know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18,19).

You have been given value through Christ’s death and resurrection. You are justified, declared “not guilty” before God, because of the work of Christ on your behalf. Your value does not depend on what you have done but is given to you by Christ. Because you are justified, you are set free from the burden of having to prove your worth!

Dear child of God, you have value because Christ made it so. No one and nothing can take that away from you. So let the dust sit on the mantle for a day. It’ll be okay. Skip over the one dandelion. Another one will come along. Set the phone down and enjoy life. You are already liked—yes, even loved—beyond what you deserve. You are set free from yourself, so go live in that freedom!

This is the third article in a six-part series on applying doctrine to your personal life. Read the  first article and second article here. 

Author: Gregory C. Lyon
Volume 109, Number 09
Issue: September 2022

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