By Amelia Harman
Think about God as a sculptor. As a sculptor, he begins with this amazing idea. He begins to dig deeper into this idea, forming aspects and qualities of this piece of work. He spends days upon days sculpting every single detail to perfection, before he finally sits back and admires his work of art. He loves it. He adores it. He thinks it is his greatest masterpiece of all creation. He knows it is worthy enough to be presented to the world. He wouldn’t send out an unworthy or unfinished work of art to the world.
Now I’m sure you think you know what I might say next. Perhaps something along the lines of “God made us in his perfect image, therefore we are perfect and worthy to the world and all who dwell in its midst.” Everything is going to be okay because God says we are worthy, right? Easier than it sounds.
“Am I worthy enough?”
We all experience this question at some point in our life. Am I worthy to be in this group of friends? Am I worthy to audition for this role? Am I worthy to apply for this job? Am I worthy enough to be accepted? To be wanted? To be loved? Both males and females are targeted relentlessly by this undesirable stigma that is in fact an emotionally draining rollercoaster of self-critique that society claims as critical to success every day! Yet, as our society grows in demand for an exact image of humankind, I can’t help but notice the impact of this claim to identity on women.
We all know it’s true. Many young women see themselves as being filled with nothing but flaws, or sometimes as unlovable because of their looks, their talents, the material things they have, etc. Billboards, posters, and magazines present the “easily attainable” image of a perfect woman, leading our minds on a path of self-destruction and claims that who we are isn’t good enough. As women, there is always a way to enhance ourselves so that we may be worthy of attention and love.
It’s a mentality that’s easily deceived as advantageous, when really all it does is bring down your self-esteem with every thought, and invites into your mind the possibilities of living up to unrealistic physical expectations. Notice how I said “unrealistic”? That’s our problem right there- we will never be satisfied with societies definition of worth, because it is simply unattainable.
Let me explain. The issue with societies’ definition of worth is that worth equals perfection. If we are perfect, we are worthy (even though perfection is only revealed in Jesus Christ himself). Therefore, because we will never be as perfect as Jesus (and that’s not a bad thing!), and we can’t meet societies standards (because let me remind you, they are unrealistic), we’re imperfect, therefore unworthy.
Our world says unique is beautiful, yet when do we ever see the unique plastered across billboards or featured in magazines? If we don’t fit up to the stereotypical model, then we aren’t perfect enough to be shown. No wonder we are confused! One minute the world tells us that our uniqueness is valuable, yet the next it presents a single image of what valuable beauty is. Society finds one type of beauty to present, but what about the rest?
Let me tell you this: unfortunately, in this life, we will never be perfect in the eyes of society. No matter how hard we try to reach those expectations, or how hard we try to ignore them, there will be days where we will feel imperfect and worthless. There will be days where we will fall into a seemingly endless pit of self-criticism and disgust of the person we are and have been created as. Personally, there are days I wish I had a curvier figure, a flatter stomach, a more ‘naturally beautiful’ face, a more feminine voice, more attention from boys etc. The list could go on, because the truth is, I am imperfect. But, here’s a straight contradiction to society: I may be imperfect, but I know I am worthy. I am so, so worthy. I am a daughter of the one and only Creator, and I am accepted and loved by him more than any love that a person on this earth could give me. Why should I have to define my worth and value by the opinions of society?
So, let me proclaim news greater and louder than anything you’ve ever heard!
- God created YOU to be His own masterpiece.
- God, being the best artist of all time, made YOU unique in your own way, which gives you worth.
- God created YOU special, and because of that, you are beautiful and dignified.
God created each and every one of us worthy and with a purpose, and even though society will relentlessly and continuously try to tell us how we should look, act, or the things we need to have, we must continue to remind ourselves that we are always accepted and loved by our Father.
Our worth is not defined by our failures, flaws or cultural differences. We can have a vocation, a job, family and friends, but these earthly things likewise cannot define our worth, or who we are as a son or daughter of God. Who we are and who we are called to be isn’t defined simply by our occupation, but by a spiritual revelation attained by a deep relationship with Christ and a willingness to understand his will for our life.
If we look at the Gospel of John, we come across a great prophet called John the Baptist. This is a man who knew his purpose and his worth, and in John 1:23-24, he claims “I am the voice of the one crying out in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord.” John understood his worth in the eyes of the Creator, and he knew his purpose was to turn the hearts of many to God, in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ. It was through his understanding and trust in the Lord’s plan for his life that John became a well-known and powerful man of faith. He didn’t follow the expectations of ‘society’ (he ate locusts and wild honey, and dressed in camel’s hair!) and most likely wasn’t up to date with the latest trends; yet it was because of his understanding of who he was and who he was created to be, that he lived a life of worth and purpose.
Just like John, it is through faith that we too will begin to discover our worth and purpose. And I say discover, because we will never be certain. But faith is not defined by certainty- being certain about everything leaves no room for faith. Faith comes from having uncertainty; doubts; worry and confusion. It is through these, that we can turn our hope and trust to God; that he will satisfy our hunger for love, attention and acceptance. That he will reveal to us our unique and perfect worth.
Because truly, I believe we are defined not by who we are, but whose we are. We are sons and daughters of the Creator himself.
We are his Masterpiece of Creation.
I know it’s harder than it seems to believe that, especially since we seem to be judged by everything we do, and are in this moment, instead of who we were created to be, both now and in the future. And I know that this truth most certainly won’t make those feelings of doubt and worthlessness that society forces into our minds disappear completely, but truly, when we find the true value and worth of our life through Jesus Christ, that is when we will begin to radiate the confidence that deflects the negative pressures of this world to change the dignified person we are.
I promise you this with all my heart: NOTHING you can do on earth will EVER amount to, or diminish, the love that God has for you, and the worth you have as a Masterpiece of the Creator.
Help me grow in understanding of who I am, and who you have created me to be. Show me today how worthy and special I am in your eyes, by revealing to me your unique and perfect purpose for my life. Just like John, allow me to grow in knowledge and understanding of my worth, and to be confident in who I am both now, and in the future.