A flick of the perfectly styled hair, a knowing glance into the camera lens, and the model utters once again the iconic mantra: “Because I’m worth it”. And in our culture, it seems we are all encouraged to join the chorus and adopt the same refrain. Whatever may seem appealing, attractive or desirable, we should be able claim it for ourselves and of ourselves, because ‘we are worth it’.
Except that in the real world – away from the glossy adverts – it’s never as simple as that. In fact, despite all the well-meaning assurances of the media, and our teachers, social workers and health professionals, one of the major challenges that many of us face is that we simply don’t feel ‘worth it’ at all. Our sense of ‘self-worth’ seems incredibly tenuous and fragile, and simply repeating to ourselves the anthem of the cosmetic industry does little to underpin our self-esteem.
Because it all hinges on who it is who says I’m worth it.
Words are cheap and the true value of something is revealed by what someone will give for it.
Merely telling myself that I am of immeasurable value & indescribable significance carries little weight; because I would say that, wouldn’t I? That doesn’t make it true.
Hearing the same words freely spoken over me by someone else is much more potent. We should never underestimate the power of sincere encouragement. Yet there can always be the suspicion that the person speaking has their own agenda, whether that is simply to help me feel better about myself, or because they are actually looking for something in return – even if it is merely a corresponding complement or reassurance.
And anyway, others don’t know us fully. They may only see what we choose to reveal about ourselves, and most of us secretly fear that if others knew the whole story then they would value us far less.
But what if the creator of the cosmos speaks those words, not merely to mankind in general, but to me personally? What if he names me as someone he knows, loves and values?
That is a different matter entirely, for he needs nothing from me, and he knows all there is to know about me. So, when he repeatedly declares – and demonstrates – that he considers me infinitely ‘worth it’ then that pronouncement, that verdict, stands; unshakeable and incontestable.
In comparison, the opinion I hold of myself matters little; his view of me trumps my own.
The opinions that others hold of me may contain some truth, but ultimately, they are incidental; his view overrides all others.
The opinion that really matters belongs to my all-knowing and all-loving creator. And – notwithstanding all of my very real faults and genuine failings – he asserts that I am worth it. Worth it to him; precious to him; valued by him.
‘The true value of something is revealed by what someone will give for it.’ He has valued me with his own life, and he does not regret it.
For he thinks I’m worth it. End of.