I have struggled with my worth most of my life. After my abusive marriage ended with my kids and I fleeing our home, God took me on a journey to discover the value he had bestowed upon me. I had sadly given my worth to others in attempt to be loved and accepted. However, I didn’t even realize what I was doing at the time; I just knew I wanted to be valued.
This week I want to talk about our misplaced worth. This is what I call when we incorrectly look to people or positions to receive our value.
First, misplaced means to position wrongly or put in the wrong place. We are putting our worth in a wrong position or place when we give it to anyone but Christ. In trying to obtain our value, we are attempting to establish it in faulty things that can never give us the love we crave.
Please understand that as we go through these signs of misplaced worth, that I am in no way saying that we cannot love our husbands or kids, or pursue our education or careers etc. I know these things can bring much joy and fulfillment and rightly so. The problem arises when we look solely to these for our worth. We will never be satisfied unless we know our value comes from Jesus Christ and his immense love for us. Only then will our relationships be healthy and vibrant because we won’t be demanding our worth from others.
Some signs of Misplaced Worth:
First Sign: We look to men in particular to find our value. We want them to accept us and the way we look, the clothes we wear, our body, intelligence, and education …just to name a few things. We may also drink, do drugs and have different types of sex to please them. We all have probably done some of these things at some point in our lives, only to be extremely disappointed. It is terribly unsafe to place our worth in someone else’s hands, because we can be controlled without realizing it. We may end up doing things we wouldn’t normally do, desperately wanting to feel valuable.
There’s much danger in pursuing your worth from men because they may decide one day that you aren’t worth anything at all and mistreat you or even walk out on you. Our worth then plummets with every mean-spirited act they do and we are left totally broken. This is what happened to me in my first marriage and the pain was excruciating. Even if it’s on a smaller scale and doesn’t involve abuse, it’s unhealthy.
Please understand that men do not hold your worth. You can love and respect them and have amazing relationships with them, but they are not the ones to seek after to find your true worth, for they too are broken and incapable of giving that to anyone. There is only One that is capable of meeting all your needs and he has proven that by dying for you. Allow Christ to reveal to you the immensity of his love. It’s a love that never abandons or leaves you, but wholly sustains you.
Second Sign: We look for our worth by trying to impress and compete with other women on many different levels. This includes our appearance, job, economic status, our weight, size, education, and how good a mother or wife we are. As a society we have put an enormous emphasis on the perfection of these things and we feel if we accomplish them in some degree or another, then we will be more valuable than others.
This too is a pseudo worth that can be very cruel and uncaring as we try and compete and perhaps belittle our sisters. We have been deceived into believing, by the enemy of our soul, Satan, that this is how we will gain our value, by judging others. We sadly think that criticizing our sisters will protect and elevate our own worth, but it actually does the opposite.
Dear friend, please know that God calls you a beautiful work of art and that you were made in the Creator’s actual likeness. God not only cherishes you but he delights in you as well. Dwell on that for a moment and allow it to change where you determine your worth.
Third Sign: I mentioned motherhood above, but I believe we need to go over how it may apply to our misplaced worth. Many struggle with this and I know it was a difficult one for me. Because my first marriage was unsafe in all ways, I sought my worth in my kids.
I wanted them to really like me, so I didn’t punish them as they needed. I thought they wouldn’t love me if I was too harsh. I let them get away with things at times, I knew I shouldn’t have.
I know this is difficult, as we love our children dearly, but we cannot look to them for our worth either, it is harmful and can prove to be disastrous.
We must honor God and what the Bible declares about child rearing. We aren’t to worry about what others may think, even our children, but only what God thinks. He will give you the wisdom you need to raise your children, just ask him. Remember, correct discipline is healthy and will produce respectful and caring adults.
We were never to seek our value in our children, it’s something they are not equipped to handle and it can easily lead to chaos.
There are other areas we search for our worth; different types of talents we may have, careers, education, intelligence, financial status etc. We wrongly pursue our identity in these things, thinking we will gain recognition that we so desperately need.
There are many reasons we have misplaced worth. Some stem from hurtful moments in our life; abuse, physical and emotional abandonment from a parent or spouse, wounds from siblings, friends our strangers. We all have brokenness in our lives and we try and set up strategies of healing that never fully mend our hearts.
Do you know the first thing Jesus declared when he started his ministry on earth? It had nothing to do with judgment or damnation. No, he spoke of compassion and renewal, instead. He told us that he had come to heal the brokenhearted and set us free from any bondage. The false sense of worth we have discussed has you enslaved by chasing after things that will never fully satisfy you.These signs of misplaced worth are lies that reside in your soul, planted by Satan and watered by man. They have you going in circles trying to grasp something that is already yours…. Your worth.
God established our worth before we were born and displayed it at the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ! We are not only damaging ourselves when we place our worth in others’ hands, but we are stating, in essence, that the love of Christ is not good enough and we must search for our value elsewhere. Please know that you will never be truly satisfied unless you know your worth comes from Jesus.
How to Identify Misplaced Worth:
Ask yourself honestly if you are trying to earn your value with the things we discussed. Do you feel a heavy devastation if you do not acquire them? Is there desperation in your soul? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to point out areas in your life that you may be mistakenly searching for your worth. God wants you to be healed from any misery or pain you are living in, so you can live in freedom and victory.
It’s important to replace the lies with the truth of how God sees you. Start with reading Isaiah 61:1-3 first. Let the powerful words of God’s desire sink in your soul. If you want more go to Zephaniah 3:17. These love filled verses will change your life if you let them!