Rejection 8 – No Self Worth

The word “inferiority” goes along with the subject of rejection. That’s because a person who suffers rejection has had their sense of self-worth damaged.

When someone who should love you fails to do so, or when someone preys upon your life in some way, using or abusing you to their own pleasure, then your intrinsic personal value has been demeaned. You have been “put down”, devalued and treated as worth less than others.

Loss of Value

We each have incredible value, as people made in the image of God. As descendents of Adam we are “children of God”. Therefore we should be treated as those who deserve respect, love, care, and so on. When we are not treated as having that value we suffer a loss of value.

Our feelings of “loss of value” start by being devalued by others. Being devalued is an abuse of who we are.

When a parent neglects a child, or someone uses another person for their own selfish ends, or our qualities are ignored or discounted, the statement is made that the true value of the person is not there. This can have deep and profound impact on our “soul”, our inner being.

Low Self Esteem

Once we have experienced rejection or loss of value in the eyes of others, we then devalue ourselves in our own eyes. We can even come to despise who we are.

If others, especially our parents or superiors, fail to find the value in us that we believe is there, then we could conclude that we are not really of the value that we hope. We lose confidence in ourselves and our own hopes and perceptions. We discount our value and worth, in comparison to others.

Picturing Loss of Value

I have used price-tags as a simple way to express how people who have been rejected tend to give themselves a very low value compared to others. They see other people as being rich in talent, personality and intrinsic worth. At the same time they see themselves as of inferior value.

Even if the rejected person acts confident and assertive, suggesting their own value and merit among others, they are most likely feeling unsure of their real value. They are very likely afraid of their own lack of value and hoping to bluff people anyway.

A person with low self esteem tends to have unrealistic perceptions of the achievements, abilities and value of other people, especially those who seem confident and successful or who are acclaimed and admired by others. This is because they elevate the value of others in comparison to their own loss of value.

Low Expectations

One lovely young lady I assisted years ago really related to my picture of low self worth. She told me that she had once applied for a job for which several dozen other ladies applied. She went through the application and interview process, but had no real expectation of getting the job.

When the employer phoned her to advise that she had won the job she immediately advised them that they must have rung the wrong person. They assured her that she was their choice, but she took some convincing. She could not believe that she could have been the best choice out of so many applicants.

These low expectations often lead people to withdraw from the race and give up various areas of endeavour. Competitive situations only remind them of their failings, and even if they are encouraged by others that they could excel or win in a situation, a rejected person will likely pull out of the race, due to their low expectations of victory.

Inferiority

The term ‘inferiority’ means ‘of lower value’. An inferior product is of lower intrinsic value than a superior product.

These feelings of low self worth and loss of value are feelings of inferiority.

Now, as mentioned earlier, feeling inferior deep on the inside does not mean that people throw in the towel. There are those who press on to be great achievers, yet who carry deep feelings of inferiority. The point here is not that the person projects or lives by those feelings of low self worth, but that they carry them, even secretly, deep in their soul.

Think Soberly

The answer to these feelings of low self worth is to be healed by the love of God. Some people try to heal themselves and others who struggle with low self worth, by pumping up their self-image. Such a course tends to pride and self-delusion.

The Bible warns us not to think more highly of ourselves than we should. We are told to “think soberly”, not with delusional self-aggrandizement. So beware how you try to remedy this low self worth problem.

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to every man among you, not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

We are not warned against holding too low a value of ourselves. God does not condemn us or warn us about low self-esteem. God does caution against pride, haughtiness of spirit and thinking too highly of our self.

Humility Head Start

If you are struggling with low self worth you at least have this to your advantage, you are likely to be more humble than some. As God heals you and affirms your intrinsic value to Him, don’t let pride displace your acknowledgement of others.

We are to prefer others ahead of ourself, so keep a humble heart toward others, and be willing to bless them with priorities ahead of yourself. You have a head start on humility, so don’t waste it.

Entering Heavenly Zones

Just as a top sportsperson controls their mental, emotional and personal faculties to stay ‘in the zone’, so too Christians can take responsibility for the heavenly zones God has made available to us. This post discusses how we enter those heavenly zones and go through the open doors God has created for us.

I mentioned in the last post on this topic that God has given us a number of doorways into heavenly realities. We are: seated in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6); under his wings (Psalm 91:4); accessible to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16); accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6); and able to run into the name of the Lord (Proverbs 18:10). There are more than that, and the most wonderful door we have is into God’s throne room.

King David taught that it is personally possible to choose to enter through the heavenly door into the ‘zone’ of God’s presence. He openly explained how it is done.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4

We can choose to enter into God’s presence by thanksgiving and praise. We don’t have to stay in a place of fear or loneliness, when we can enter His gates and come into His courts.

David was so aware of our ability to take control of our inner state and thus to change the ‘zone’ we are in that he repeated a statement which shows how he did it.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted in me? hope in God: for I will yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember you from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.” Psalm 42:5,6

Allow me to paraphrase what David is saying here. He recognises that his soul is downcast. He is feeling low. He is not ‘in the zone’ to be a man of faith or to be a champion. He is struggling internally. But rather than let his natural feelings call the shots, he chooses to change zone. He chooses to move into a heavenly zone where he can overcome these depressive feelings. He reminds himself; in fact he demands of himself, that he trust in God. He also chooses to praise God, confident that God is the real help he needs. He then explains to God that he is feeling low and says, “That’s why I am reminding myself of who You are”.

David understood that our natural state does not have to rule the day. When we remember who God is we can encourage ourselves in faith and step into God’s presence, finding His grace in our situation.

The Apostle Paul had a similar idea when he gave instructions to Timothy, telling him to “stir up the gift” that was in him (2Timothy 1:6). Paul practiced the choice of his zone when he was thrown into the dungeon in Philippi. There, denied liberty and justice, Paul and Silas sang songs of praise. They were able to enter into God’s presence, despite their natural circumstances. What resulted was a divine visitation of a miracle earthquake that set them all free, without endangering any of them. Salvations resulted.

The point of the lesson is this. You can choose the ‘zone’ in which you are living right now. You can allow circumstances to make you downcast or keep you distracted. Alternatively you can take responsibility for which door you enter into. You can press in to God’s presence, access heavenly blessings, “be there” in divine glories, and overcome natural circumstances. You can build yourself up, stir up your gifts, encourage yourself in the Lord, keep yourself in the love of God, remember who God is, call on His name, access the throne of grace and much more.

Are you ‘in the zone’? If not, then why not? You can do something about it. You can choose where you will spend the rest of this day. You can choose to move in to your spiritual inheritance, or to remain in a prison while the door is wide open.

Let’s be a people who are ‘in the zone’ of God’s presence, enjoying His best for His glory, all the time. Amen.

Your Internal View of Yourself

A phenomenon which has long fascinated me is the formation of an internal view of ourselves which influences who we are and what we become.As far back as 1985 I was making notes on this theme, so before I discuss some of my current observations I will give you some of the background to my thinking. Here is the note I made back in 1985….Vietnamese boat people arrive here in flight from their homeland. – with only what they can carry – robbed by pirates and respected only as “refugees”.In the refugee camps around the world people are hoarded together and reduced to the point where they are denied any respect of wealth, education or social status.Yet when these people are resettled or can return to their homeland, they very quickly restore themselves to the status and wealth they had lost. Despite the fact that they all re-start as equals the ‘equality’ quickly disappears as some soar to success and wealth while others languish.What unseen quality assures wealth to the wealthy and success to the successful, despite the loss of both in the mid-stream?It is the personal ‘inner view’ held by the individual. When a person knows their self to be wealthy and successful they can be stripped of everything but that inner knowledge. Upon release from the restrictive circumstances that deny expression of previous wealth and success, the individual automatically sets themself on a course to regain that which they know is theirs.Within the refugee camp people can appear identical in appearance and stature, but within each individual is a personal value that resembles exactly the status they are measuring out for them self. This is what they will attain to when given the opportunity. Their potential is intrinsically linked to their inner view of who and what they are. [When I wrote my book, Family Horizons, in 1995 I drew on the example of refugees being resettled in a city to point out that people have differing “horizons” for themselves.  So this idea of each person’s “inner view” is something that remains significant in my observations of people and life.]