Who Determines Our Self-Worth?

Students of history who have studied the Civil War know that it was fought over whether to maintain or free the slaves.  Once the war was over, congress adopted the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.  On December 18, 1865 slavery was officially abolished.  All slaves were released from slavery.  What was unexpected, most slaves continued to work as if nothing had happened.  Their lives remained unchanged.  Why had freed slaves stayed as slaves to cruel owners?  In most cases they had no place to go.  There were few alternatives. How would they have supported themselves? Or, was it because of having a poor self-imagine and afraid of taking risks?  Self-worth can be developed at an early age and then most difficult to change as one grows older.

Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us that all were born into bondage and are slaves to sin.   (Romans 6:6 – “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”) Some Christians, once saved, continue to allow past sins to be their master.  There could be a number of reasons.  They feel unworthy, they continue to be negative, pessimistic and they live with little hope.  They have allowed Satan to steal their independence and remain as slaves to sin and negative self-imagines.

If we are not careful we could lose the next generations.  The world that grandparents were growing up in is quite different from what children are confronting today.  We are living in an electronic world.  Our young people are playing electronic games, twittering or watching TV.  What they watch on TV is often dramas that indicate that almost anything is acceptable and enjoyable.  It is indicated there are no consequences to sin, just don’t get caught.  Then I read polls indicating that those 13 thru 21 have little desire to become a Christian and want to live lives with few restrictions.  How do we get them to see the advantages of being Christians?  We certainly do not want them to grow up having a negative self-worth problem as most adults do today because of teenage addictions or having been permissive.

The majority of the world’s older population suffers from guilt and unhappiness.  The way we were raised, the teachers who taught us and the people we associated with have a tendency to develop who we are.  The things we heard, the way we were treated and the things we did all became a part of us.  How much baggage do we carry?  Did we feel accepted, were we praised or were we encouraged?   Words are powerful!  What we did, the things we said or what is said to us can make an impression and may affect who we are and how we behave as adults.

Some of us will say, it’s not my fault, if you knew what I went through you would understand why I am this way.  If you think you cannot change you are only fooling yourself.  As a child we may have felt rejected, unloved or even inadequate.  If not one or more of these occurred in your life, you may be one of a very few.  If we suffer from a sense of not belonging or we have a problem with feeling unworthy; we may suffer from a negative attitude or are hesitant to take risks.  We may need to start life all over again.  And that is a major reason God sent His Son that we might begin again as a new person.  Have we accepted His promises and have we gotten rid of the baggage that as Christians are holding us back from becoming a new person free from guilt?  We need to teach young people what we have learned and the importance of developing Christian principles at an early age.

II Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”  How many Christians do you know who have failed to become totally new?  Most believers have read Scripture, John 8:32 – “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  To me this means if you believe in God’s promises, you can be set free from all of the baggage that anyone has   been carrying around.

From their own experiences and what they know, parents must share that the Holy Spirit can completely change a person’s life and their future can become more rewarding.  Look how many high school dropouts there are mainly because of having a poor self-worth.  We live in a world that requires skills to obtain better paying jobs.  Something must be done to change young people’s attitudes, behaviors or confidence or they will never improve and in the future they will not obtain their full potential. I believe God is selecting role models such as Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin as examples for young people to follow.  These are who kids should be watching and not those groupies from New Jersey.  The following is what God promises that will assure a positive adult life:

  • Hebrews 4:5 – The Holy Spirit was given to testify that Christ came to give us a New Covenant and told us God would put His laws in our hearts and write them on our minds and our sins and lawless acts would be remembered no more.
  • Luke 11:13 – God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.
  • Ephesians 1:13 – The Holy Spirit will mark you with a seal to guarantee your redemption and salvation.
  • Hebrews 2:4 – The Holy Spirit will give us signs, wonders, various miracles and gifts.  If we have seriously surrendered our lives to Christ the Holy Spirit will make us aware that He is with us.
  • II Timothy 1:13 & 14 – The Holy Spirit will help you live a holy life by giving you faith and love in Christ Jesus.
  • Luke 12:12 – The Holy Spirit will tell us what to say.
  • Acts 1:8 – We shall receive power from the Holy Spirit.
  • John 14:26 – The counselor, the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and will remind us of what Jesus taught.
  • Acts 13:12 – The Holy Spirit will speak to our spirit and give us directions and where to go.
  • Acts 20:23 – The Holy Spirit will warn us of potential problems.
  • Galatians 5:23 & 24 – The Holy Spirit will give us joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Instant gratification is not the answer.  Our future is not here on earth but heaven.  We are here for only a short time but eternity is forever.

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