Thursday, May 14, 2009

Measuring with a Faulty Ruler

How significant are you? How do you know?

For way too many of us, we have measured our significance by an ungodly standard. We have accepted lies about our lack of significance. Because another has trampled our needs for love, respect, and dignity, we have assumed that we must not be very valuable. This is especially true if we were mistreated in our childhood by those who were authority figures.

Incest taught me that I was powerless and that my needs were not important. Abuse of all sorts, undermines our self-esteem and our understanding of our place in the world.

I've met people who are enthusiastic about the power of affirmations of the "fake it until you make it" type of philosophy. If your self-esteem is low they teach, then repeat positive statements about yourself until one day you believe. This philosophy did nothing for me. Deep inside I was totally unconvinced that empowering statements declaring our worth had anything to do with me. "Those positive statements are true for others," I'd think, "but I'm different. I'm damaged. There's something wrong with me."

What has powerfully changed my view of myself is time spent with God. His Word teaches me that I am a sinner but that God wants relationship with me. He teaches me that none of us can do anything of eternal significance without Him, but when we operate in Him we can do all things. For with God all things are possible and nothing is impossible. I am not less than other people. I am the same--with the same need for God. And God is delighted to meet that need.

Whenever we feel worthless and unacceptable, let's seek God. His answer is different--radically different-- from what an abuser will teach you.


Bonnie Doran said...

Thanks for the reminder that we need to judge our significance by God's standard, not by what we learned in childhood or continue to learn from those we trust.

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful and so true. The Word is the only true mirror of self worth! God has been so loving with both you and I...your blog is making important statements and giving hope!

Tanya T. Warrington said...

Hi Bonnie,

Thanks for pointing out that childhood family and current trusted people opinions can compete with God's definition of our significance. Even well-meaning, important people in our lives can mess with our sense of significance. It hurts extra when someone we love says something or does something that makes us feel less worthy.

Job's wife and friends didn't give him wise counsel when he was in a pit of grief and illness. They wanted to fix his problem, but they judged him based on outward circumstances. Since his world was falling apart they assumed that God had abandoned him or was punishing him. How often have all of us fallen into that trap?

I praise God for looking at our hearts, not at our circumstances. Our sense of significance is safest and truest when it is grounded in God.

Tanya T. Warrington said...

Hello girlinaglasshouse,

How amazing it is to have such a loving and honest God. It delights me to hear of others who have been touched deeply by His love. We have been blessed!

I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit others who visit your blog and mine will grow deeper in their understanding of how wonderful our Lord is.

Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft