What is your perceived value of yourself? The strategy of perceived value in
a nutshell is this: A product or service is worth whatever the consumer is
willing to pay for it. In the case of human beings, we value ourselves
according to how we perceive ourselves.
When my kids were younger, they always found something they could not live
without when we went to a store. One time Hannah*, my middle child, became
enamored over another soon-to-end up-broken toy. Of my children, she valued
money the most then.
“Pleeeease, Mom, I reeeeally need this toy Mom. It’s what I always wanted. I
haaaave to have it. Everyone has one. Pleeeease! I reeeeally need this,
“You have enough money at home to cover it. If you really want it that bad,
go ahead and get it and you can pay me back at home,” I said. She was
ecstatic. “But, before you buy it, I want you to think about how long it
took you to save that money. Really think about it. If you still want it and
it’s worth it to you, buy it.”
“Okay”, she said happily. A while later I noticed she was no longer holding
the toy she could not live without and asked her about it. “Oh, I put it
back. I didn’t want it that bad.” The toy lost its appeal once she realized
the cost had to come from her own piggy bank.
Rachel*, my oldest daughter, saved up her money to buy herself a fancy, new
and improved Barbie. The Barbie stayed in its box well over a week before
she took it out. Another time she saved her money for an overpriced, white
pair of tennis shoes she also kept in the box for a while. To her, these two
items had a great value, but the value exceeded her immediate
gratification to tear into the box and play with the Barbie or to wear the
pair of shoes and get them dirty because it cost money she had earned.
When my son was almost 14 years old I paid him $80 to tear out the old
carpet from our new home, a major fixer-upper. The carpet was threadbare and
tore easily as he pulled it up. He worked hard and did a thorough job. I was
pleased with his work and happy to pay him the money. He treasured that
$80. Months later we saw a nice stereo on clearance at a store nearby. He asked
me what I thought of it. “It is a very good deal for $75,” I told him. He
asked me if he should buy it.
I was a single mom back then. My ex-husband disappeared and didn’t pay
child support so money was scarce. I told him the same thing I often said.
“Think back to how hard you had to work for that money and how hard it is
for us to get money. You will need some clothes soon. It is a lot of money,
think about it over night. If you still think it is worth it, then we’ll get
it tomorrow evening after I get home from work.”
The next day he said. “Yeah, Mom. It is worth it. I’ll get to listen to CDs
and record things and listen to the radio in my room while I do homework.
When I move out I will still be able to use it.” I was proud of him. He
thought about it long and hard. I love music. My stereo helped me escape the
overwhelming pressure I felt working multiple jobs. I often came home
severely stressed. I understood why he wanted one. It was his escape. As a
single mom I could barely afford necessities for my family so I was happy he
got to buy himself something he really wanted. He spent countless hours
listening to music. He also learned to do with the same worn clothes he was
quickly outgrowing. Owning the stereo held the greatest value for him.
What is your perception of yourself? Do you see yourself as worthy or do
you believe you have little worth because over the years life has treated
you in a way that leads you to believe that? Maybe a crucial person in your
life hasn’t valued you. For many years, I believed the lie that I was worth
much less than others. I carried this into my adult life. I felt
insignificant and that is the picture I presented to others about myself.
Physically, I presented myself very well, but there was an internal
underground current that told me. “You are not very valuable.” “No one would
ever want you.” “You have nothing good to offer.” My mind often recounted
negative voices from my childhood experiences. Inwardly, I felt hopeless
when I compared myself to others. I unknowingly presented that hopeless,
unworthy image outwardly. Because of my lack of self-worth I was not always
treated with the respect I deserved as a teen or even as an adult. God has
set me free from that trap. To God I am precious, priceless; and so are you.
Ever heard the old saying, “No greater love has a man but to lay his life
down for a friend”? That is often quoted at the funeral of those in the
military who have given their lives, sometimes to save their very best
friend. That is something worthy of honor.
Jesus said that over 2000 years ago. “Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Luke 15:13. He knew what He
was talking about when He said it. That was His very plan. Jesus willingly
gave His life, for His family, friends and the very people who were killing
Him. Just before He died He said of His enemies: “Father forgive them for
they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.
How do you think God sees you? God knows all about you. Even that stuff you
hope no one else ever finds out. He doesn’t care what nasty things people
have said about you, where you have been, what you have done, how many times
you have done it or what you have believed. That is all that stuff that
Jesus died for us for. It’s only what you do from today on. We think we
have forever to make those vital choices but we don’t. My son, Jonathan,
was killed on a motorcycle accident in his prime at 27 years of age.
In remembrance of the upcoming crucifixion and celebration of Jesus’
resurrection, I feel I have to share this Part 1 of a Part 2 narrative (next week) on
our perceived value vs. the value God places on us. Had Jesus not resurrected,
there would truly be no hope for us. Jesus wants you to know Him. He wants
you to come to Him now. To Him, you are priceless. He proved that on the
cross. What more do you need?
To find out more connect with Need Him Ministries below. I am not affiliated
with them in any way just like I don’t know you, but I care about you. I
spent the majority of my life hurting until I fully realized how much Jesus
loves me. I believe you’re that important. You can call 1-888-NEED HIM or
you can go to: chataboutjesus.org
* My daughters value their privacy and I want to respect that so I don’t use
their actual names in any of my stories.
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian ©2013