by Stephen Castleberry
Throughout my years as a pastor, I have seen negative patterns – often called stinkin’ thinkin’ – repeat themselves over and over in the lives of people. These negative patters often lead to sinful tendencies and actions. One of the most tragic negative patterns is seeing oneself as worthless and totally devoid of value.
It usually plays out something like this:
“I’m not worth anything. No one likes me and everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around. I’m not good at anything and I will be alone forever because no one would want something like me. I’m a bother to those around me and I can’t ever do anything right.”
That’s stinkin’ thinkin’.
When we talk, everyone always disagrees with me, but I know that everything a person thinks about themselves while under this pattern of negative thinking is garbage.
None of it is true.
There’s a nasty trick that’s played on our psyche when we enter into stinkin’ thinkin’ – one negative thought leads to another and to another and to another until we are in a cascade of negative self-talk that shipwrecks our thinking.
Here’s what King Solomon wrote thousands of years ago: “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7a)
In other words, our thinking directs our life.
That’s why Paul, the leading church planter in the first century, wrote this to believers:
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8b)
Before we begin thinking we just need to think happy thoughts, let’s make something clear: Paul isn’t writing that we should simply be optimistic or employ simple positive thinking. Paul doesn’t say that at all. Paul wants us to think rightly and to focus on what is true.
Paul is telling us that we need to think how God thinks, that our perspective should be God’s perspective, and that our heart should be God’s heart.
Here’s three true reasons you matter:
1. You matter because you were made in the image of God.
God didn’t make people generically on a mass-production assembly line. God hand-crafted you as a special creation He intimately loves. He made you uniquely, giving you immeasurable worth, dignity, and value.
If you want to take this a step further, when we say our life is has no value, what we’re really saying is “God, what You made was a reject. What You call a masterpiece is really a piece of junk.” Do you really want to tell God what He does is junk?
2. You matter because Christ died for you.
Not only do you have worth because of Who made you, but you have double-worth because Christ died to redeem you. Christ conferred immense value on your life when He laid down His own for yours.
If you want to take this a step further, when we say our life is worthless, what we’re really saying is “God, You aren’t perfect because you made a mistake by sacrificing Yourself for me—I’m not worth it.” Do you really want to tell God He’s mistaken?Christ conferred immense value on your life when He laid down His own for yours. Click To Tweet
3. You matter because you have a God-given calling.
God has not made us and saved us so we can go about our life aimlessly. God has given all believers a high calling, a Great Commission, and a purpose to walk in. This calling by God gives you dignity through purpose.
If you want to take this a step further, when we say have no purpose, what we’re really saying is “God, I believe You lied about my life. There’s no way You will be faithful to work in me and through me.” Do you really want to tell God He won’t come through?
Here’s the bottom line:
- You are worth more than you know.
- You have more value than you can imagine.
- You have more dignity than you can understand.
- And all of this is not based on you—it’s based on the eternal, never-changing God.
As a church, Antioch Georgetown deeply believes that people matter because God hand-crafted them, Christ died for them, and the Holy Spirit desires to work through them.
That’s why we will go out of our way to show Christ’s love to all people.
People matter to us because they matter to God.