What Are You Worth?

 

I’m asking you right now.  What are you worth?

 

A glassy-eyed, slightly panicked stare is often the only response I get to that question. After several moments of stunned silence, many people answer with a variant of, “Not very much.” Others, especially those who have had some secular counseling, will answer, “I’m worth standing up for,” or “I’m worth my own happiness.” This latter group speaks angrily, as though they are opposing an unseen enemy who always argues against them.

 

No one ever gives me an amount. Granted, it’s a difficult thing to estimate. In the end something is only worth what someone else will pay for it. Today’s real estate market has taught many a lesson in that regard. Similarly, an appraisal of my grandmother’s engagement ring listed the value upwards of $10,000, but when I decided to sell it, no one would pay anything like that price. The ring was over-valued. It was never worth as much as I thought it was.

 

It’s also possible to undervalue a possession. American Pickers has made a cable splash, not to mention a lot of money, based on that fact. They know someone, somewhere will pay more for their finds than the price on the sticker. In fact, something considered a piece of junk can turn out to be worth quite a bit more than its owner suspects. It doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t matter what you feel. An asset is only worth what someone else will pay for it. No more, and no less.

 

So I ask you again, “What are you worth?” If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then a ransom has been exchanged for you, body and soul. Your value is a known quantity. You are worth the very life of the only-begotten Son of the Lord of the Universe. It doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t matter what you feel. You are worth infinite riches, because that is the price which has already been paid for you. Sometimes just knowing that changes everything.

 


If this post sounds familiar, it might be because it was originally published here in 2012.

Unhappy in Love

Dear Christian Counselor:

 

I have low self-esteem and seem to attract men who are emotionally needy.  I end up being “the emotional rock” in the relationship.  I am there for them when they need a shoulder or ear (“love bears all things”) but when I need them, they can’t be there for me in the same way.  The relationships end, and I feel even worse about myself than before.  How do I change the way I see myself and those whom I attract?  Thank you and God bless.

 

—Bella


Dear Bella:

 

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately on this same general topic, so you are not alone in your struggle. I hope you don’t mind if I use your letter to introduce a new resource for all the women who have written to say that they are unhappy in their romantic relationships.  I’ve created a .pdf document which you can download from the “Resources” page (or click here) with six principles for romance, geared specifically toward women.

 

You already understand that you are struggling with low self-esteem, and I think that is really another way of saying you are not confident of God’s great love and purpose for you.  I would highly recommend that you spend your time working on that problem before you consider getting involved in another relationship. There are many ways to do that, from personal study to support groups to intensive, one-on-one counseling.  Start asking around at church, and if you can’t find something, get a group of friends together to read God-Esteem by Roger Sonnenberg or From Bondage to Bonding by Nancy Groom.

 

It sounds like you may be offering a listening ear in order to feel good about yourself in addition to meeting a need in your partner.  When you enter a relationship looking for emotional validation, you place expectations and responsibilities on the other person that are bound to disappoint you both.  When you don’t need another person to make you feel whole, then you will be ready to stand beside someone else and build a real life together.

 

Louise

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