The dust glides in the air as we quicken our pace. The terrain is rough and unforgiving. Careful of every step, loosened gravel makes the journey bitter sweet. Although the miles stretch behind us, one small slip on lax stone can send us backsliding. We press forward. Breath labored and tired, we thirst for water. Breaking our pace for a moments rest, muscles begin to contract and release, while tension escapes our bodies while the cool liquid quenches our parched throat. Determination sets in looking towards the outer rim of the canyon. We are so close; we will not stop now.
Webster’s Dictionary defines self-worth as self-esteem. Self-esteem is defined as a confidence and satisfaction in oneself. According to the world, all of our self-worth is wrapped up in our self-confidence and self-satisfaction. Do you see a pattern here? The world is consumed with self.
The Bible contradicts the world. Our self-worth, satisfaction, and confidence do not lie in our own flesh, but in Jesus Christ. Satisfaction is defined as “the fulfillment of a need or want, the quality of being satisfied, convinced assurance or certainty” (Webster’s Dictionary). Confidence is defined as “a feeling or consciousness of one’s power or of reliance on one’s circumstances; the quality or state of being certain; a relation of trust or intimacy; a communication made in confidence” (Webster’s Dictionary).
As Christians, God established and reminds us through His Word, we are to be rooted and grounded in Christ. Our satisfaction, our confidence, our worth, and our being should be habitually focused on the will of God. Once believers are able to grasp the concept, life’s journey completely changes. Our thoughts and behaviors are not subject to our limited abilities and qualities, but God’s limitless abilities and amazing qualities. Once we truly understand our worth is not consumed with possessions and unattainable goals, but God’s ability to open doors no man can close, our desires begin to change.
If we can fully comprehend the love God has for us, our idea and thoughts of self worth change. If we could appreciate our own unique, individual qualities in Christ, believers would treat their own bodies, minds, actions, relationships, and personal aspirations differently. If we could repeat and believe what Scripture profoundly states in our inner most being, believers would be accomplishing insurmountable tasks. What holds us back?
The Lord put something on my heart in regards to parenting my children. Praying over my children, I obviously want the best for them. I desire they reach their full potential and when we see them slacking through life, it triggers emotional responses. I question and ask the Lord, “Why are they not trying? I know they can do this. Why are they barely getting by? Why aren’t they studying harder?” These are parental concerns many parents lay at the cross, praying and seeking the Lord’s wisdom. In my heart one day, I felt the Lord say, “Nicole, you can saturate their life with the world or you can saturate their life with me.” “But whoever drinks the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life” (John 4:14). Writing this post, the same thought came back to my spirit.
If we saturate our lives with worldly entertainment, worldly desires, worldly attitudes and behaviors, then we will reap the harvest of the world. If we saturate our lives with the Word of God, worship music, serving in the community, serving in the church, or praising God, then we will reap a harvest of Christ.
Imagine a bucket of water filled to the brim. Once you have your mental image, place a dry sponge in the water, allowing the water to soak through the absorbent material. Once the sponge is completely saturated with water, lift the sponge out of the bucket and squeeze. What comes out? Water. This is the same correlation to our lives. If we absorb worldly ideas and attitudes, what will come out of our hearts and minds? Worldly thoughts and behaviors.
I live by examples and mental images. I can use my own life as the example. Before I dedicated my time and energy to serving Christ, I saturated my time with television, entertainment, and worldly advice. I was a Christian, but was experiencing a lack of spiritual growth and joy. When a difficult situation would arise, I would find negative thoughts continually coming out of my mouth: This is always the way it will be; nothing good happens to me. Everyone else is blessed, but me. I guess I will always be this way; nothing changes.
Because I had filled my sponge with ridiculous worldly attitudes, when difficult situations squeezed me, worldly statements came out of me. Now, I have dedicated myself to saturating my life with Christ or continually filling my sponge with the Word of God, worship music, and serving. When a difficult situation arises and squeezes me, the Word rushes out: I am the righteousness of God. God has a good plan for me to prosper. I will not conform to the worldly, but am progressively changing. I am a new creation in Christ. I have saturated my life with God.
When the Lord revealed the image of the sponge, my confidence and self-worth began to change. My negative thoughts and emotions were transformed into that new creation in Christ. A few more examples to think on are: if you saturate your sponge with violent movies, when you are squeezed, anger and rage will flush out. If you saturate your sponge with sexual enticements or pornography, when you are squeezed, sexual sin and adultery will emit from your heart. If you saturate your life with monetary treasure and possessions, when you are squeezed, greed and covetousness will flow from your heart. If you saturate yourself with your own self-ambitions and self-absorbed behavior, when squeezed, loneliness and frustration will trickle out of spirit.
Our confidence and worth need to be in Christ. Christians need to know what the Bible says. If you read God’s Word, you will find amazing Scriptures regarding the Lord’s thoughts about you. He knew you before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5). He has a plan and a purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11). You have unique gifts and talents (1 Corinthians 12). You are intricately and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). You are the righteousness of Christ (Romans 10:4). If you saturate your heart, mind, and spirit with Scripture, your confidence and self-worth will drastically change.
These are beautiful verses to meditate and think on. Saturate your heart with God’s Words. Make a dedicated decision in your heart and stick with it. The climb out of the canyon can seem arduous. The challenge stretches us beyond what we think we can be stretched. Christians need to be persistent and dedicated to their journey as believers one step at a time