Low self worth in Christian singles focuses on the wrong standards

Low self worth is surprisingly common in Christian singles, ironically a group you would expect to be happy and satisfied.

While the causes behind this problem may be complicated, the solution is fairly straightforward. If you don't have the confidence in yourself that you'd like, know that there is real hope for you.

Low self worth is a problem for Christians too

Many of our feelings of low self worth stem from comparisonitis. This widespread trait uses the wrong ruler to measure ourselves--other people. But our culture encourages us to hold ourselves up to others for many reasons, from business productivity to sales manipulation. It's a false way to gauge your true value.

We're forced to start early

As soon as we enter preschool or kindergarten, we start comparing ourselves to others. Teachers do it and our parents do as well. Every society is competitive, and we're encouraged to develop an assertive, proactive attitude toward life.

This may be good to a certain degree, but the truth is that everyone has different abilities. I had trouble passing high school chemistry. Some of the students in my chemistry class could hardly write a complete sentence.

Jack's truths for thriving.

It's simply unrealistic for you to expect to be great
at everything you try. It's not going to happen.

Oddly, it can take many of us half a lifetime to learn this. Women today, especially, think they can "have it all" and cram their lives so full that sooner or later they just collapse.

Then we begin thinking that the more we do and the more we accomplish, the more worthwhile we are.

Achievement-based worth?

You can see where this is headed. High achievers are judged by our society to be more valuable. They make more money. People with money are courted by businesses and flattered by advertisers. They are told they are and feel "special."

Obviously not everybody can be in the top 5% of income earners. Many Christian singles, especially Christian men, won't "do whatever it takes" to make a big paycheck, and they feel ambivalent. They watch their peers get the promotions and wonder if their faith is worth it. A sense of failure may engulf them. They struggle with feelings of low self worth.

We all want to succeed. We want to do well and be rewarded for it. Performance is held out as the way to get that reward, and certainly we owe our employer our best effort. The same is true for college or training.

Continuous improvement is a worthy goal, but we need to check our motives. There's nothing wrong with increasing your wages by working harder, but there are questions about basing your self worth on your performance.

Appearance-based worth?

It's a fact of life: people with good looks go farther.

We've all seen them catch the breaks. We see people fawn over them and we can't avoid feeling jealous. Why them and not us?

We may be more talented, more intelligent, and harder working, but they receive the attention of princes and princesses. Our society is so hung-up on appearance that it's the reverse discrimination no one is willing to talk about.

If you're not in this tiny minority of the drop-dead gorgeous (and I'm definitely not), you find this one of the unfairest snubs in life. I know I have.

But are these measurement systems reasonable? Do they serve society at the expense of the individual? Are they accepted forms of bigotry?

Truth you can use

Enough of the reasons. Let's get to the truth about low self worth.

The Bible is like a laser when it comes to efficiently cutting through to the truth. Of course, for financial and control reasons, society likes to set the standards and ignore the authority of the Bible. Let's be honest. We live in a culture motivated by money, not by the desire to please God.

God says you are of infinite value to him, even if you're struggling with feelings of low self worth. He created you in his own image, which is the greatest compliment he could have paid you. He wanted you to be like him.

Here's something important for you to understand: God does not judge you on your achievements. He loves you unconditionally. Unlike our society, he does not keep a scorecard on the size of your paycheck, the value of your home or car, your job title, or whether you own the latest stuff.

God loves you for yourself. Period.

The entire message of the Bible is that you will get to heaven through God's grace, a free gift earned by the death of his son Jesus Christ, and not through your own works or achievements. God thinks so little of achievements that he eliminated them in the standards for spending eternity with him.

And looks? What does God have to say about judging people by how beautiful or handsome they are?

    "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

It could hardly be more blunt than that, eh? God sees you as gorgeous and precious, regardless of what you look like. He is concerned with your love for him and your neighbor, not with superficial beauty.

Revising your low self worth

Overcoming feelings of low self worth is a tough, lifelong battle, even for Christian singles. The propaganda of the world is loud and it's constant. It's also false.

Ultimately, we each have to decide whose approval is more important to us: the the world's or God's. The world's approval is fleeting, lasting only until we start to age. God's approval, however, is eternal and renews our soul daily.

We dig our way out when we build our intimacy with Jesus. You can do that through praying and regular Bible reading. The Bible is the counterbalance to society's lies. It reveals the real standard, based on God's unassailable truth.

Only when we know the truth about ourselves in God's eyes can we defeat low self worth. As I said, it can be a lifelong struggle, but if you listen to God's voice, a voice soft with unconditional love for you, you will gain an ever-unfolding sense of who you really are.

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