"You are worth it.”
“You are amazing and worthy to be loved.”
“You are perfect.”
When I hear these words being thrown around today in society, I can't help but want to believe them and say, "You know, I do deserve the best... I am worthy to be loved." But the reality is, I'm not. And neither are you. None of us are.
For the past few years I've heard these phrases over and over again, directed especially towards young women, trying to build us up to be the strong, sophisticated, independent women we are supposed to be. But it has always rubbed me the wrong way and proposed a lot of questions in my mind. What makes me worthy? What have I done to deserve this sort of "entitlement"?
My whole life I felt pressured to be perfect at everything I did, whether it was martial arts, school, or day-to-day activities. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders as a young teenager, and I thought it was in my power to control how I performed. I strived for control in my life, making myself my own god, and not relying on the sovereignty of God in every situation. I convinced myself that I was in fact worthy, and my sin was minuscule compared to everyone else's.
It wasn't until my sophomore year of college, my world came tumbling down right before my eyes. Miserably failing almost all of my classes, I called my mom bawling, proclaiming my life was falling apart. In that moment, God opened my eyes and smacked me in the face with my sin. My identity was not in my Heavenly Father; instead, I had been looking to school to bring me happiness and fulfill my needs, when in reality, nothing of this world can do such a thing. Suddenly, I realized I am not perfect. I am not worthy. But my Heavenly Father is—He died a gruesome death on my behalf that I might be saved. Paul said,
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. (Romans 3:10-12)
We deserve nothing. We are worthless and the chief of sinners. We cannot seek after God because our nature cannot fathom something as beloved as Him. But, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. How FREEING is that? We don't have to be perfect, because Christ is perfect for us.
I preach this to people almost daily, and I get mad at myself. How can I preach this to people when I don't live this way? I idolize anything and everything, and I put people, electronics, grades, work, exercise, and food on a pedestal where only Christ can be. In our nature, we are idol-making factories; John Calvin once stated, "Every one of us, even from his mother's womb, is a master craftsman of idols."
I struggle with thinking "I'm not good enough to be a Christian." Being a Christian isn't about being prideful in your walk with Christ and hiding your struggles; it's about admitting you are broken and confessing you need a Savior. Brothers and sisters, there is good news: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). It should have been us on that cross, paying the penalty of our sins, which is a horrendous death. But instead, Christ gave Himself up for His bride, and selflessly, without sin, He bore the wrath we deserve.
So no, we aren't worthy, but in Christ, we are worth it. We are worthy to be loved. It is nothing we do, but everything He has done. He wants the best for His children. So, humble yourselves before the Lord. Confess your sins, repent from your ways, and turn to Christ. He is the only way to true happiness and everlasting life.
It is finished.
Raegan Thornhill is wife to an amazing man of God and mom to her baby boy, Weston. She is the director, content manager, and writer at Whole Magazine. She believes cheesecake, snow, a cup of hot coffee, and an episode of Breaking Bad can fix any dreadful day. Her mission in life is to show women of all ages how they can be whole again through the Gospel of Christ. She longs for her writings to be a testament of the mercy and grace God has shown her. You can follow more of Raegan on her blog, Delighted In Him.