where's my worth?

I told you I would share more about how this past Sunday's sermon stirred me, so let me begin.

~We just finished eating a delicious dinner, a bottle of cheap wine, and watching the Voice... 
Husband is now watching the Nugget's game and squeezing the cat, who he believes is his "good luck charm". It's almost 10pm and a pile of dishes is yet to be done.~

Ok, now that you're caught up on my evening...
In a nutshell, the sermon was about how Christians tend to view ourselves as inadequate and incapable of good. We tend to veer on the side of failure, accepting ourselves as "only sinners", bound for brokenness. In reality, we are still perfectly designed beings, created in God's own image, destined for a full and satisfying life on this earth. The only aspect that differentiates the world we live in from the one we were made for is that sin rules where the Lord once reigned. 

Although sin was ultimately brought into our world through choices made by both man and woman, it is not a platform for God's wrath against us. In scripture, God never curses humans... He curses land, regions, countries, and theories,  but never one person or another. Not only does God view us all as complete and perfect reflections of His beauty and grace, He chose to pay "top dollar" for us at the ultimate auction of life- Christ's death on the cross. When we were at our lowest, ugliest, most sinful, useless, and broken state, God bought us back, brought us home to Him, by paying more than  we may ever fully understand. If we were good enough then, we are good enough now... no matter what we have endured or done

I often see myself through stained lenses, splattered with the residue of guilt and shame- a walking example of what not to do or who to be- instead of seeing myself as worthy of the ultimate sacrifice.When we deny the value that God has given us, we are ultimately denying the price He paid for us on the cross. God looked down upon us, when we were furthest from His light and saw hope! 

He looked at us and said "despite all the pain you have caused me, and caused each other... and though you may continue to cause such pain... you are worth loving. You are worth life!"
So he gave it back to us.

Knowing this should be enough, right? Knowing God's grace extends beyond anything we could do/not do or say should be enough to keep us from trying to "win" or "earn" this value... or trying to manipulate our minds into believing something our hearts are unsure of... Yet, I still seek my value from others, and worse- from things. Instinctively, I turn inward and look at myself... I want to hear affirmation- that I am worth loving no matter what- from my husband, my family, and my friends. I want to hear that I am worth fighting for, and regardless of my sin and failure- worth the highest price. 

 I am selfishly human- I want to be affirmed, I want to know that I am accepted. I know that words are meaningless without the grace of God and yet I wish that I could hear them come from the mouths of those I elevate above myself. I struggle with seeing myself as "good enough" because everything I am, or believe I will ever be, is forever tainted by the mess of who I was
I have made mistakes I wish I could undo, I have ventured where I wish I had never gone... but it doesn't matter in God's eyes. His grace has covered it all. My brokenness is made new.
  His love remains the same. 

Why can't I accept THIS standard in my life. Why can't I view God as the sovereign judge He is? Why do I continue to believe that I know what I truly need- and how to get it? 
I continue to seek my value and worth from the things I can control- appearance, standards, achievements- things...that I have worked for. That I have earned.

I have fallen backwards, and yet I am right where I began. I am- you are- worth loving exactly as we are. Nothing can ever make the Lord love us less, or more, and we are still the beautiful bearers of His image. 

Let's live as the perfect, complete creatures He designed us to be. 
Let us... simply stop trying so hard.

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