The Truth About Self-Worth

Truth_About_Self-WorthIn the public school system, and in America today, we see a strong pull towards helping our children build self-confidence. Our children are great; our children are smart, our children are going places. It doesn’t matter that a good portion of our children are failing in school, can’t even read when they graduate, and couldn’t fill out a job application if their lives depended on it; we need to ensure they are confident in themselves and believe they can do anything.

The irony is, most of our kids aren’t self-confident. Because we’ve failed to teach them their true value, our children are filled with self-doubt and poor self-image. Perhaps if we spent less time teaching them their worth is wrapped up in themselves and more time teaching them truth, self-confidence would no longer be an issue.

The Truth
“as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;”
Romans 3:10

The truth is, not one of us is good. We aren’t. We lie, cheat, steal, think bad thoughts, and often act upon them. We think of ourselves first, others second, and then think of God. We can try to cover it up with a pretty surface and a faked veneer, but underneath we are all sinners.

How is this encouraging? When our children understand there aren’t ‘good’ people and ‘bad’ people – we’re all sinners – they begin to see their value isn’t in what they do, say, or the status they hold; their value must lie in something outside of themselves.

The Truth
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

The truth is God loved us so much, it didn’t matter that we had already messed up and gone astray. He loved us so much He gave His perfect Son, who had done no wrong, to pay for our sin. He LOVED us. We are loved by the Creator of the universe, the creator of all things. He loved us then and loves us still. He loved us when we were yet sinners and He loves us even as He is still perfecting us.

The Truth
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10

The truth is our value isn’t in what we do, but in Who created us. We are God’s workmanship. We were created. Why is this point important? We aren’t cosmic blips, accidents, evolutionary mishaps, or thoughtless beings. We were purposefully created! We were created for a reason and God has already gone before us to prepare our paths; we have only to accept this and move forward.

The Truth
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…”
I John 3:1

The truth is our value is not in what we do, but in Who we belong to; Who our Father is. Our value is in being a daughter/son of the King. Not an ordinary earthly king, but the King of kings; the King above all else. We are valuable because we belong to the God of the universe and He loves us.

The Truth
“…O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. …”
Psalm 139:1-24

The truth is we are never out of God’s sight or mind. He knows everything about us, everything there ever is to know. We are so important to Him, the God of all, that He knows every last detail about our lives, from the number of hairs on our head to the dreams we only see in our heads.

The Truth
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

The truth is we have purpose. We weren’t put here to simply live for ourselves, to wander around aimlessly. We have a purpose, you have a purpose. The Lord has a plan for your life, He offers goodness and peace; a future and something to hope for.

We all want our children to understand their value, their true self-worth. But, we want them to focus on the truth. The truth is we aren’t good or wonderful, on our own. The truth is our value lies in Christ and who He is. When we help our children refocus their thinking, removing their eyes off themselves and putting them on Christ, they will see a true reflection of what they are worth. They were created by a loving God who sent His Son to die for them, calls them His own, loves them so much He knows everything about them, and has a plan for their lives.

When we start to see ourselves through the eyes of Christ, we see a true reflection of what we are: priceless.

Your Turn!: Share with us your favorite Bible verse which helps remind you of these simple truths!

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Misplaced Confidence

Misplaced_ConfidenceHave you ever noticed most quotes regarding confidence focus on ‘me’? am going to rise above this. am better than this. No one is going to put me down. Confidence seems to be a huge issue these days. People don’t have enough confidence in what they do. Kids don’t have enough confidence in who they are. The country doesn’t have confidence in the state of the economy. I wonder if the reason we have such a lack of confidence, is because we are putting our confidence in the wrong things.

From experience, I have found the last person I want to have confidence in is me! I fail, I fall, and I make bad choices all the time. My brain fizzles, my body is slowly getting older, and I have never been witty. I am not responsible for the face God gave me, why glory in it? I am not accountable for being born healthy and whole, why take credit for it? The knowledge I do have is not of my own making, but a gift other people have instilled in me.

Here in America, especially, it seems we favor the notion of self-confidence. Yet, if you look at the state of our nation, we have the highest failure rate in our schools. If we are so confident in what we are, why aren’t we performing better?

Again, I would argue that we are putting our confidence in the wrong place. Our confidence needs to lie in something other than us; it needs to lie in God.

When we have confidence in the Lord, we don’t have to rely on our own strength; His strength is enough (Phil. 4:13). When we have confidence in the Lord, we have no reason to fear; He is our helper (Heb. 13:6). Confidence in the Lord promises reward (Heb. 10:35-36), it guides us (Prov. 3:6), and grants peace (Romans 15:13). There is nothing we cannot do through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Whether it is through our work, our homeschooling, our marriage, or just everyday life; we need to remember to have confidence. Not confidence that lies in ourselves but confidence in the One who will never fail. True confidence is in Christ and Christ alone.

“For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught.”
~Proverbs 3:26

📢 Chime In!: Do you struggle with confidence issues? What reminds you of where your confidence lies?

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May Parenting Weekends: Measuring Your Child’s Value

May ParentingJoin us in sharing May Parenting Weekends! Come read, be encouraged, and share your thoughts relating to all things parent. Today’s topic: Measuring Your Child’s Value

Early in our children’s elementary school experience I learned to dread the weekly folder. Very early. Probably around week two of kindergarten.

My son has always been … verbal.

Despite living without language for the first year of his life (he lived in a Russian orphanage) and then suffering recurrent ear infections, people complimented his vocabulary from the time he was just two years old.

He’s always had a lot to say. Measuring Your Child's Worth

I really wasn’t surprised when his kindergarten teacher noted in the dreaded weekly folder that he talked during lessons. What surprised me was my son’s explanation. I asked him if he was talking a lot during school and he quickly explained the problem: “That lady is always interrupting me!” 

Continue to read at Community Moms.

Parenting can be a bit rough at times. With a little encouragement, we can all become better parents to the glory of God!

And the Award Goes To…

Winning Prize

One of the projects that actually won a significant award.

The kids and I are almost done with the second quarter of our home schooling year. With only four weeks to go, the holidays are coming up fast and a break is in sight.

At the end of every quarter, I take stock of the paperwork I have filed and decide what is truly worth keeping. With limited amounts of space, I can’t afford to keep every scrap of paper my kids write on.

The projects we completed for the LA County fair are among the stack of items to be organized for the current quarter.

While it might seem worthwhile to keep a vast majority of these projects (they really are cute), I can’t justify all of them. Several of the projects received only a third place and that presents a problem.

Now, some of you might be gasping and staring in shock at my confession, but hear me out.

The fair competitions work on a Danish form of judging, which is a whole different animal, in-and-of itself. Each project is judged against a standard (no problem there so far); cleanliness, adherence to rules, and creativity, being among some of the qualifications. Based on these standards, the judges give each project a score and then it is awarded a prize.

So what exactly is the problem? It is precisely this… Anyone who doesn’t get a first or a second, automatically gets a third place prize! Now, if my child gets a third place prize, does this mean that they actually warranted it or is this the “pity prize”; making third place all but meaningless?

I tend to think it is the latter. As an attempt to preserve these little people’s feelings and prevent parents from arguing with fair staff, the educational committee has decided to go the easy route; give everyone a prize!

While some might think this helps children’s self-confidence, I disagree. How is my child supposed to be feel good about third place, when all they had to do was turn it in to get that prize? What do children have to strive for, if we tell them simply turning in their work is good enough?

I don’t want a prize because someone felt sorry for me or because they needed to fill a quota of awards, I want it because I earned it! My children feel the same way.

I want my children to do their best and then be judged accurately. I want them to know that they have earned their place and then work harder if they didn’t get the position hoped for.

When they see that third place, they should strive for second. When they see second, they should strive for first. Giving them a meaningless award only teaches them not to be achievers; diminishing the hard work and ambition of the child who truly earned it.

When children are taught to earn their awards, they will have true confidence. They will know that the award has been earned and not simply granted. They will take pride in the hard work, time, and diligence it took to get it.

I wonder what life would be like if we banished awards for tenth place and instead stuck to an Olympic form of judging. You have three options; first, second, and third. If you didn’t make the cut, keep trying.

Needless to say, when projects get filed for this quarter, only exceptional work will be saved. The cute ones might be kept for personal memories, but the rest will be recycled.

How do you feel about a system of judging that hands out awards for fourth and fifth place?

Foolish Confidence

ConfidenceIt took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.  ~Sally Field.

Have you ever noticed that most quotes regarding confidence, focus on me (well, not me personally, but the universal me)? am going to rise above this. am better than this. No one is going to put me down.

Confidence seems to be a huge issue these days. People don’t have enough confidence in what they do. Kids don’t have enough confidence in who they are. The country doesn’t have confidence in the state of the economy.

I wonder if the reason that we have such a lack of confidence, is because we are putting our confidence in the wrong things.

From experience, I have found that the last person I want to have confidence in is me! I fail, I fall, and I make bad choices all the time. My brain fails me, my body is slowly getting older, and I have never been witty.

I am not responsible for the face that God gave me, why glory in it? I am not accountable for being born healthy and whole; why take credit for it? The knowledge that I do have, is not of my own making, but the gift that other people have instilled in me.

chickenconfidenceHere in America, especially, it seems that we favor the notion of self-confidence. Yet, if you look at the state of our nation, we have the highest failure rate in our schools. If we are so confident in what we are, why aren’t we performing better?

Again, I would argue that we are putting our confidence in the wrong place. Our confidence needs to lie in something other than us; it needs to lie in God.

When we have confidence in the Lord, we don’t have to rely on our own strength; his strength is enough (Phil. 4:13). When we have confidence in the Lord, we have no reason to fear; He is our helper (Heb. 13:6).

Confidence in the Lord promises reward (Heb. 10:35-36), it guides us (Prov. 3:6), and grants peace (Romans 15:13). There is nothing we cannot do through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Whether it is through our work, our homeschooling, our marriage, or just everyday life; we need to remember to have confidence. Not confidence that lies in ourselves but confidence in the one who will never fail. True confidence is in Christ and Christ alone.

Do you struggle with confidence issues? What reminds you of where your confidence lies?