“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God….” (Ephesians 2:4–9)
A few months ago I chatted with a friend about identity crisis. She told me that she felt she had lost herself in motherhood. Amidst all the diapers, tantrums, and constant supervision of little mess-makers, she couldn’t remember who she was. As I listened to her words, I reflected on similar seasons. It’s easy to feel like we're suffocating under the weight of all the demands and duties entrusted to us. We may not have time for a lot of the things we used to, and our hopes, dreams, and desires may be shelved for a season or two (or three). Our many thankless tasks may cause us to feel worthless and purposeless.
And so, maybe we start a side business or volunteer for a non-profit in attempt to inject some sort of worth or purpose into our existence. Or maybe we turn to our social media following for affirming words and likes. But what do titles, achievement, performance, relationships, economic status, and the like all have in common? While these things are not bad in and of themselves, they are no lasting solution to our feelings of insignificance. If we set our anchor on any of these things, what happens when that job, title, or following disappears? Everything we built our lives upon is now gone.
What if I told you that the key to satisfying our longing for purpose, worth, and significance begins with the recognition of our own unworthiness? Ephesians 2:4–9 bluntly tells us that we were dead in our trespasses. Romans 5:8 tells us that “while were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We were born sinful (Ps. 55:1) and the wages of sin is death or eternal damnation (Rom. 6:23). If God is the judge, we stand before him guilty. We are unworthy because we have nothing to offer him to appease his sentence on our lives.
But here is the miracle: God in his kindness, mercy, and love gave us Jesus Christ! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is life-changing news; this is the gospel! He makes us worthy.
As we near the Christmas holiday and reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ, may we posture our hearts in a spirit of gratitude knowing that the result of God sending His Son to live, die, and rise again is that the Christian is made alive! Because of Christ’s imputed righteousness to us God can look at the man or woman who once stood sinful, stained, and unworthy and deem them forgiven, washed clean, and worthy.
My response to my mama friend was to not grow weary in doing good (Gal. 6:9). Though at times it may feel like the unseen aspects of our lives are menial, because of Christ and the good news of the gospel we have purpose and value and worth in serving the little ones he has entrusted to us. Though the days may feel long, they are not wasted.
You have worth because, by grace through faith, he gives you his worthiness.
You have significance because he died for you so you might live for him.
May we not trade the immeasurable value of this good news for temporary, earthly statuses that have no ability to give true joy. May we anchor ourselves to the One who gave himself up to a people undeserving, and may we find our supreme worth in Jesus alone.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION/APPLICATION:
Do you relate to the woman in this conversation? In what ways do you wrestle with feelings of insignificance and worthlessness?
Where do you usually turn when you feel this way? How have you tried to combat those feelings with lesser hopes than Christ?
How is the message of the gospel at odds with the messages moms often receive (“You are worthy!” “You are enough!”)? In what way does embracing our worthlessness before God actually lead to feelings of worth and purpose?
Spend some time in prayer asking God to root your sense of identity and purpose in the coming of Christ and all that he has accomplished on your behalf.
Dianne Jago is a military wife and homeschooling mama of three living in Central Pennsylvania. She and her husband started Deeply Rooted Magazine to encourage, equip, and inspire women as they glorify God in womanhood. Dianne is currently writing her first book which debuts in March of 2020. Follow along her journey at instagram.com/aholypursuit and deeplyrootedmag.com.