“It is not, then, that the Eternal Father has fixed an artificial worth upon us, to value us for what we are not. He has put a real and infinite worth into us that he might value us for what we are, for he has incorporated us into his Son. There are no fictions with God, not even in his generosity. He does not turn a blind eye to our shallowness; he turns a seeing eye on the infinite depth with which he has underlaid it, the love of Jesus Christ his only Son…” ~ Austin Farrer, A Faith of Our Own.
Self-worth is such a troubling idea these days. Everybody seems concerned to identify his or her own worth, to earn it, to deserve it, to be rewarded for it. In fact, we are so starved for secure identity that it seems to dominate nearly all our choices, activities, and desires. And yet the answer to our dilemma, especially as followers of Christ, is once again embedded in irony. We are called to die to ourselves, and live for Christ, and we perform this act in such a way that our very sense of worth is derived from Christ in us, without losing any real sense of our self. In Christ, in other words, my sense of ‘self’, and my sense of Him–that great, powerful, loving presence–become so intermingled that I can, by God’s grace, join into the self-love of the Triune God. My worth, then, is not my own to manage or discover–it is completely outside myself, yet dwelling within me, as I live in relationship with the God of the universe.