Sociological studies show that many people form their sense of worth and identity through the ‘exclusion of other’. In other words, people can shape their identity and self-worth from looking at a contrasting group of people and quickly labeling them in order to feel better about themselves. You look at others in a negative light, as not being as good as you in some way, and this makes you feel better about yourself, because “you’re not one of them”. The reason the human brain operates like this is because it gives us the illusion of sinlessness and strength.
Do you feel good about yourself by thinking less of others? Where is the source of your self-worth?
We should not have a self-image that draws on the comparison of others in order to feel good about ourselves.
In the kingdom of God there is no such thing as “us” and “them”. Rather than looking at the differences, the focus should be the shared common – that we were all saved by grace. ‘For ALL for short and ALL are justified freely by his grace’ (Romans 3:23-24).
To embrace people different to us requires humility, and humility, requires a deep sense of security and sense of self-worth. Confidence and humility therefore go hand-in-hand.
The picture we carry of Jesus dying on the cross for us, should both humble us, and also build a deep sense of security and confidence in us – one where we don’t need to find the faults in others to feel better about ourselves. The cross humbles us because we understand that ALL mankind needs the saving grace of God, and it also builds our self-worth because we understand how deeply we are loved by the father, to the extent that He would die for us – thus we find our security, identity, and the humility to embrace others, just as we were!
Naturally we look to the people that matter to us to define us. We want the people whose opinions matter most, to think the most of us. This is how the human soul feels good about itself. How wonderful that the opinion that matters the most, the opinion of God himself, is an opinion of unshakable love and acceptance toward us. How freeing that your identity and value doesn’t need to be determined by the people around you, but can instead be drawn from the infallibly secure source of Jesus Christ!
A daily devotion for a better way of living.