Am I of Any Value?
A man went to see his therapist complaining that he had an inferiority complex. The therapist asked him why he felt this way, so the man gave a long list of reasons. When he finished his therapist said, “you do not have a complex, you are inferior.” Many men and women relate their sense of self-worth to how valuable they are to their job, family, and society. When we are off of work and away from co-workers and employers, when we cannot see family members and friends, and isolated from society, a sense of inferiority or worthlessness can test our souls.
Jesus once was approached by a woman of Canaan to help her demon-possessed daughter. His disciples wanted Jesus just to send her away. “But He answered and said, ‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’ But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.’ And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:24-28). Even if she was compared to a dog, she had a sense of some value and Jesus rewarded her faith.
A sense of inferiority has never been felt stronger than those who have come in contact with the Almighty God. When Isaiah had a vision of God’s Throne, he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” (Is. 6:5). When Peter recognized Jesus as Lord, he cried out on his knees to Jesus, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 6:8). Why? They did not have a complex. They were inferior to God. However that does not mean they were without value. They still had a sense of self-worth.
When feelings of worthlessness or inferiority overwhelm someone, they often have an experience of invisibility. David M. Trexler asked, “Do you sometimes feel worthless because of the kind of job you have, the way you look, the way people treat you, or because of deafness? Do you sometimes feel that God does not love you because of your sins or your bad family history, such as divorce or alcoholism? Feeling worthless is a common problem for every person. No person escapes this negative feeling.”
There is a way to deal with these feelings. Remember you are priceless before God. God said, “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted you (like a tattoo) on the palm of each of My hands” (Is. 49:16). Jesus told His disciples, “consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?” (Luke 12:24). God thought you so important and valuable, He sent His Son to die on the cross for you.
The next time you feel like God can’t use you because you are too old, just remember Abraham was old when God came to him with a promise to make him a great nation, have a great name, and through him bless those of every nation (Gal. 3:26-29).
When you feel you are of no help because you are too young remember David. He was a mere shepherd boy when the prophet Samuel anointed him the next King of Israel (1 Sam. 16:7). He was still a young man when God used him to defeat Goliath (1 Sam. 17:28). He became known as “a man after God’s own heart”
At times people get depressed. They fell worthless. This happened to Elijah after he defeated the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:4). Twice he complained to God, “I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (1 Kings 19:10,14). God gave him a job to do, Elisha to take up his mantel, and a chariot ride straight up to Heaven.
Unfortunately, we often perceive our value in relationship to the riches we have. Remember the poor widow who cast her two last mites into the Temple treasury. Jesus said of her, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” (Mark 12:43-44). Too often Christians will claim, “if I was just rich I could do this or that for the Lord.” The widow was not rich, but see how much she did for the Lord.
It is true that as sinners we are helpless and of little help to others in our sinful state. When our sinful past comes back to haunt our conscience, it is easy to feel inferior. Paul often remembered his wicked past. “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:12-16).
This article could go on and on listing men and women who would have felt inferior or of little value. Rahab was a prostitute, but is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1). Job lost everything, but has become an example of great patience. The Samaritan woman by the well was divorced more than once and yet Jesus offered her living water (John 4:9,16,39). Zaccheus was short and a rich Chief Publican, and yet Jesus came to bring salvation to his house (Luke 19:2,8). Lazarus was dead for days and had begun to stink and Jesus resurrected him to life (John 11).
A little girl got into an argument with a little friend who called her “trash.” She responded, “God don’t make no trash!” God made us and God does not make trash.
We often determine the value of something based upon how much was paid for it. Jesus paid it all for you to be redeemed from sin, therefore you must be a great importance and value.
– Daniel R. Vess