I preach to students that their self worth isn’t defined by others, unless they allow it to be. That it is not a reflection of who they are, simply in what someone else is saying, unless they choose to let it define them or live into it.
But I have struggled with the exact thing I am saying to others. People wield words to attack, simply out of their own need to control. They use them to make themselves feel better, because they have an issue within that they are choosing to ignore and instead deflect onto another person, often not even knowing them. In my humanness I have allowed others actions and words to take root.
Recently I was talking with a friend on how I worried over the judgement of what I write here. Of what people would say, and have said in regards to my writing. Then I realized I don’t write for anyone else, I write for my self. I write because God has gifted me with this and to allow others to define or quieten that gift is to be disobedient. It’s to look at the blessing and say “No, I value others over Your gift God.”
The same thing happens when we allow our self-worth to be defined by what others say, titles, or actions. I cannot control what others say or do towards me or about me. You can’t. No one can. People will lie because that’s what they do to make themselves look and/or feel better. That’s not your business. Your business is using the gift God has given you, for the time He has given it and the way He has given it. He has told you that you are worthy. You are beautiful. You were created by Him, for good works.
Does that mean that sometimes it’s incredibly difficult and people close to you hurt you? Absolutely. Does that mean it will come naturally to value self over other’s opinions? No. Our natural tendency is to focus on the approval of others, to appease others, to gain as many people to our view and way of thinking as possible.
But God hasn’t called us to that. He’s called us to so much more in Him. People will let you down. They will cut you down. The ones you thought you could trust will inevitably break that trust. Don’t rest your self-worth in anyone other than yourself and God.
We do a slap-bang job already of tearing ourselves down, how about we stop letting others do that too? Walk worthy of the calling you’ve been given, regardless of what others say or do in response. After all, the only thing you can control is how you respond or allow people to affect you.