My friend said to me this week, “I’m going to wait for a better man, because I’m worth it.”
That got me to thinking about worthiness and what makes us worthy of certain things, like a certain level of man, a certain kind of job, or even a place in heaven at the end of this life.
The idea of “worth” implies a give and take, but also a certain amount of exclusivity:
- I do this much work for you, I am worthy of that much pay (but not more than that).
- You become this famous, you are worthy of getting into that party (but not that other one).
- I make this much money, I am worthy to buy that house (but not that fancy one over there).
- You make yourself this beautiful (or good or rich or attractive or powerful), you deserve that level of man as a husband (but save the really good ones for the women more worthy than you).
Some people say they’re worth something based solely on their humanity: I’m a person, so I am worth more than how you’re treating me. Nevertheless, the underlying statement is, “there’s something about me that makes me worth X amount – not more or less.”
I think this is a super easy trap to fall into as a single person. Like my friend, I’ve thought many times over the years, “I’m worth better than he’s treating me” or “He’s not worth my time” or even “I’m not worthy enough to get attention from that guy – I’ll just be over here batting my eyes at someone more on my level.”
But there’s a problem with thinking about worth that way.
Whenever the Bible talks about worth in a non-legal action sort of way (worthy of death because of a crime, etc.), it’s primarily in two ways:
Overwhelmingly in the Bible, our worth is directly correlated to what God has done for us – and usually, it’s not because of something we’ve done to be worthy of His blessings.
It’s because of what Jesus has done to be worthy of His blessings.
Jesus – inherently worthy of all praise, glory, worship, admiration, and riches because of His status as the Son of God – chose to come to earth and:
- live the perfect life I should have lived (the life that would have made me worthy of those things)
- die the death I wasn’t worthy enough to die (because I’m a sinner, separated by nature and choice from God)
- rise from the dead (because He was the only one worthy enough to do so on His own merit)
The astounding thing about His actions wasn’t that He just decided to come down here and shove it in our faces that He is so amazing and worthy of all God’s love and attention. He would have been worth it even without becoming a man.
The astounding thing is that He clothed Himself in humanity and paid our death penalty because He wanted to clothe our humanity in His worth.
Now when God looks at us, He sees only the worth and value of His Son Jesus – He doesn’t see our sin or our petty longings to be worth the things of this world.
The only thing that’s “worth” trying to obtain is the approval of God, and Jesus already has that covered.
So today, I’m choosing NOT to see myself as worthy of a great boyfriend; today, I’m choosing to see myself as a child of God, rescued by Jesus, and guaranteed admission to heaven because someone paid the price I wasn’t worthy to pay.