If you are at all like me, there have been times in your life, as there have been in mine, when your self-worth was at a very low point. This is a problem which occurs from time to time in all of our lives. But if there is one particular age group which it does seem to affect more than any other, it is the teenage years.
The “growing pains’’ which are quite often experienced by young people can contribute to a very large degree, to the ups and downs of a person’s feelings toward himself as well as how he feels towards others in his daily social contacts, be it at school, home, or work.
I don’t think that it is at all unusual for a young person to have days when he or she asks some questions something like these. Is there any good reason why I should keep on taking up space in this world? And if there is, I would like to know what it is. It seems like at times I can do nothing right. I’m a hopeless “klutz” when it comes to any sport. I’ve never had a boyfriend, or girlfriend, and probably never will. Who would want anything to do with ugly old me? And to be perfectly honest with ourselves, it gets so bad at times that it actually makes us mad at God for making us this way, and seemingly loading others down, at school, or at work, with all kinds of good looks and talent.
Now despite the fact that we all have those times when we feel some of these same things, the fact that we all do does not make it right. In fact, just the opposite is true. To wonder if God made a mistake when He made you the way you are is to question the very wisdom and perfection of our Creator. God determined from before the beginning of time that you should be here now, and that you should be exactly what you are today. God does not make mistakes. It was He who formed you, and marvelous are His works (see Psalm 139:13-16).
But you, as a confessing child of God, know all of this; you are familiar with what the Bible says about this problem we face. It is just that we tend to forget what God’s values are, and we like to replace them with the standards of this world. In short, we use the wrong yardstick in measuring our values. We often tend to value ourselves by how smart or attractive or talented we are. But the Word of God says quite clearly that what we value highly, God does not. Luke 16:15 where Jesus addresses the Pharisees by saying: “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts; For that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God’’.
God sees what we are on the inside. It is of no importance to Him that we may be the most popular young person in school. It doesn’t matter to Him how good looking we may think we are. What does matter, however, is how we use what He has given us. Do we use it to further our own position among friends, or do we use what has been given us to His service. For that is our chief calling here on earth, to praise and glorify God’s Name. God knows each and every one of our hearts; and with proper spiritual awareness through prayer and the hearing and reading of His Word. He will show us what it is that He wants us to do. You are unique. God know all there is to know about you; He has a special work for you. Ask Him to show you what it is and to help you do it.
Let’s look for a minute at the other side of the picture. It is wrong to be down on yourself because you see your own worth as less then what everyone else has, but it is also wrong to see yourself as worth more than anyone else. God may have given you the talent to play a good game of basketball, but that one fact taken by itself does not automatically make you a better person than someone who can’t dribble a basketball the length of the court without bouncing it off his foot. God has given us all talents, some are more obvious than others; some we will use today, some we will not even be aware of for years to come. We must not judge a person’s worth by how much he has of the “good life” as the world likes to call it. We should look at each person on the basis of their walk and confession before God and men. God has called each of us to serve Him in some particular way. We are not all given the same calling. If we were all great basketball players, where would the spectators come from? But together we form a Church which will be complete without any missing parts. God has prepared a place for each of us, not only from the viewpoint of eternity, but also for this life as well.
We have a duty and a calling to consider these things. On the one hand it is sin to feel sorry for ourselves because we may think that we have been cheated by God with regard to earthly things; but on the other, it is also wrong to feel that we are better than our peers because we get all “A’s” in school, or because we average 30 points a game in basketball.
If we look at all of this with the spiritual eye, and consider that we are saved children of God, and that we did nothing, in fact could do nothing to save ourselves. And without the shed blood of Jesus covering our sins, we would be thrown forever into hell. Then we have to come before our Heavenly Father in prayer, and thank Him that despite our sin and pride in ourselves, He loved us enough to save us from our sins.