Two Truths about Your Worth

When I was asked to write about confidence and self-image, I couldn’t help but feel like the worst person to do that.

I am not confident by any means, I can be and am deeply insecure about everything about myself.

It’s been a struggle and something that I am also still working on, so I get it.

It doesn’t matter how many times you are told you’re pretty, you’re still not going to believe it at the end of the day. 

It doesn’t matter how much you diet and workout, you’re still going to look in the mirror and think fat

It doesn’t matter how many friends you make or how many guys ask you out, you’re still going to feel unlikable. 

I’ll tell you a secret now:

All the makeup, plastic surgery, money, and anything else that this world tells you that will make you happy and secure, won’t. 

Why is that?
Because we are searching for our worth in all the wrong places. 

…And the Lord said unto him… (5)

Here are two truths I think we all need to tell ourselves every day:

 

1. God defines my worth

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”-Psalm 139:13-15

God defines your worth, not a significant other, not a number of likes, friends, or how many compliments you do or don’t get. God created you fearfully and wonderfully, His works are marvelous, and so are you. 

2. I am created for God’s glory

Our purpose is to ultimately bring glory to God.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”-Ephesians 2:10

We don’t exist to be good looking, popular, athletic, or top of our class, not that there’s anything wrong with any of these things, but they’re not the point.

They aren’t eternal. 

Your value doesn’t decrease because the world and people of it cannot see your worth in Christ.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”-Luke 12:6-7

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You are worth so much more than this world will ever tell you, so don’t listen to it, listen to the truth found in God’s word.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”-Proverbs 31:30

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My Story // Part 5: The Start

The day after I was baptized I really wanted to find a way to tell others about my change of belief.
I sat down and created a video, which I find embarrassing now due to my lack of editing skills, but then I just wanted something to post.

What End When This Pandemic Does (10)

My mom shared it on her Facebook shortly after I uploaded it to my youtube account and it wasn’t long before it had ten likes… and hundreds of comments. 

All of our old friends and people we use to worship with were commenting that we had joined a cult, that we had been tricked into legalism, and that we were brainwashed.

I found the last comment interesting because looking at and evaluating everything, I realized I had been brainwashed into never thinking for myself for years, not the other way around.

It was overwhelming.

Then a few of the men and women from our new church started responding to those comments with verses, Greek words and definitions, it was amazing to see how logical their responses were versus the knee-jerk reactions of “This is untrue! How could you?”

I got a text from a friend, “Hey, I heard about your baptism… my parents and my siblings had a bible study together today, I don’t want to really talk about what you believe so our friendship isn’t ruined, but they warned me that you would try to convert me.” 

I didn’t really know how to respond, that wasn’t the last time a friend told me that their parents had “warned” them about me and my “cult”.

So Grace, do you believe the rest of us are going to hell?” Became a question a few people would ask me in front of everyone. 

The first time, I was taken aback, “I am not God,” I told them and the people listening in, “I do not see your soul. Have you obeyed the Bible?” 

“You know, according to what you believe now, your dad is going to hell because he hasn’t been baptized like you and your mom.”  they retorted.

“I have to get to class.” 

I noticed that a lot of my friends started keeping their distance.

“Where’s everyone else?” asked one of my friends as he walked up to me in the hallway.

“I don’t know,” I told him.

I looked up and noticed that he was staring down at me, “You seem different, have you seen my friend Grace? She’s super short with curly hair, freckles, and usually is sad and making sort of funny jokes.”  

“Nope, haven’t seen her,” I told him, and then added, “I became a Christian over Christmas break.” 

He looked confused, “Weren’t you already a Christian?” 

“I was wrong about a lot of things. We should sit down and talk sometime.” 

“I’m pretty sure you’ve been a Christian, but as long as you’re happy, I’m happy, and I’m glad you’re finally happy.” He told me, patting me on the shoulder.

I opened my mouth to say something, but he stopped me, “I’m not interested, sorry, Grace.” 

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Obviously, when I heard that my congregation was going to have an evangelism class, I jumped at the chance to join.

I not only wanted to know how to tell others about the truth, but I wanted to know how to respond to my friends when it seemed like any conversation about the Bible with them was just a minefield.

“You’re doing too much,” my therapist told me one session,

“allow me to play devil’s advocate: you right now are on a high, but are you ready for a low? Are you ready to crash?” 

That was my second to last session.

Her words rang in my ears though as we drove away after my last appointment.: “You’re doing too much. You’re on a high. You are going to crash.” 

Did I crash? 

I’m not going to lie and say that I healed automatically.

I’m not going to lie and say that I never spent another sleepless night, crying, and struggling to breathe because it felt like my chest was caving in along with the world around me.

I’m not going to lie and say it was easy. 

Going to services was hard, being around people who grew up in truth and didn’t seem to understand that I hadn’t, was hard.

“Who doesn’t know that?” people would scoff in Bible class, and I would sit there quietly because it was the first time I had ever heard anything like it before in my life.

“I wish I was like you and hadn’t grown up in the church,” someone told me once. 

“No, you don’t,” I told him.

Sometimes I felt like I would never catch up, sometimes I still feel that way and forget being a faithful Christian is a marathon and not a sprint. 

There were so many times I cried to my mom because I felt so alone like no one understood how confusing it was, and how hard it was to lose everything I once held onto.

I’m so behind, it’s evident that I’m so behind. I feel too jaded to be among some of these people. I don’t feel worthy to be here. Those were all thoughts that went through my head when I walked into our church building. I don’t think people understood why I cried through a lot of the hymns, I was so thankful but tired and discouraged at the same time.

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I started using the evangelism class I was taking. 

My first study was with my dad, throughout studying with him, I couldn’t read him at all. He said very little. I couldn’t get him to talk about religion, when I did, he would refer to it as “what your mom and you believe” and leave it at that.

I’ve always been close to my dad, he was the one I went to with all my problems, my rock, my foundation, and not being connected to him in the most important way, and knowing that every time he left for work could be my last to ever see him in all of eternity, was so hard.

I would cry and beg God for him to listen during church after every study. I would beg for God to give him time.

One day, I was riding with him and we had been riding in silence as usual, when he broke it. “If it’s true, then what about Billy Graham? What about all the people who I know are way smarter than me and know their Bible better? How can they be wrong when they are so much smarter than I could ever be?” 

“It’s the Bible versus the doctrine of men, Dad.” 

He didn’t say anything again for the rest of the drive.

“I don’t think he’s even listening or reading his Bible,” I told a friend in tears one night after worship.

Months passed.

One Wednesday night, I heard the sound of water filling the baptistry after services, “Who is getting baptized?” I asked, but no one knew.

“Grace,” an elder walked up to me and hugged me, I looked at him, confused, “your dad is about to be baptized.”

I stared at him, what?

I felt my whole body go numb. It didn’t feel real as everyone found a place to sit back down in the pews, I looked across the room and made eye contact with my mom, she was in shock as well.

I felt disbelief and joy as I watched my dad get baptized for the remission of his sins that night.

“I was listening to the sermons and to you and your mom,” my dad told me afterward, “I’m sorry for being so stubborn.” 

It was surreal.

Our family was fully a Christian family, finally.

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Just a Dance?

When I was fifteen, I went to homecoming.

I had fun, danced with a few people, talked out on a balcony, laughed with my friends while tripping as Shut Up and Dance was blasted through the speakers, the whole shebang.

Fast-forward a year, I had become a Christian, and a guy friend started talking to me a lot and one day he brought up prom, asked if I was going, and asked if I was going with anybody yet. I realized where the conversation was headed when he said he had two tickets but didn’t have a date yet.

I shut the conversation down quickly by telling him the truth: I don’t dance anymore. 

…And the Lord said unto him… (4)

Why did I say that? You might be wondering.

When I was fifteen, I would have been ecstatic at the chance to get asked out to a dance.

So, what changed? 

Well, after I became a Christian, I realized that there was a lot I didn’t know and I realized that so much of my life didn’t line up with the Bible. I had been studying so many topics, and dancing was one of them.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”-Galatians 5:19-21

lasciviousness: sensuality, arousing sexual desire, an expressive of lust or lewdness: a lascivious gesture.

Now, not all dances are sensual, I danced with guys at homecoming and I wouldn’t say it was sensual at all, at least not from my point of view. However, I don’t think one can really argue with me that the majority of dancing is slightly sensual or have sensual movements.

Here is a little bit about what an article on the psychology behind dancing that Psychology Today published in 2010 had to say about dancing:

“It’s no surprise that nightclubs are dark places. They foster feelings of lust, sex, and love and sometimes when we dance there, we can go through the stages of fancying, loving, fumbling foreplay, intercourse, climax, and post-coital bliss just by making eye contact, and holding it, with someone on the other side of the dance floor. Dancing is, according to George Bernard Shaw, “The vertical expression of a horizontal desire legalized by music.”

Maybe you think I’m being crazy, legalistic, or crazy legalistic, but here are some questions we need to be asking ourselves before we say yes to going to homecoming, prom, or any other dance: 

 

  • Could the situation you’re going to put yourself in cause you or others to lust? 

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”-James 1:14-15

  • Overall, is dancing of flesh or the spirit? (Galatians 5:19-23). 

 

  • Does it glorify God?

We all know what most people do after prom, we all know how most people dance during it, how is that glorifying? How is going to a dance any better than me going to a bar?

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”-Colossians 3:17

 

  • What does it look like and what example are you setting? 

 “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”-1 Thessalonians 5:22

 

As Christians, we want to avoid causing others to stumble (Romans 14:21), we want to honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and we want to set a good example to others (1 Timothy 4:12). 

The word dance is found twenty-seven times in the Bible but it usually means to jump for joy, but the other times it was condemned, like when Moses found the Israelites dancing around the golden calf. Or when Salome danced before Herod, causing him to lust and we all know where that led. (Matthew 14).

 

Before y’all start typing the “you’re crazy” emotional reaction comments and sending me hate emails, I’d encourage you to do your research and decide for yourself so you can feel sound about going to a dance or about not going to a dance because that isn’t a choice I can make for you, but only for myself based on what the Bible says. 

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