There are times when it seems we have to stand alone and shout out our value to a deaf world. Those around us who should have joined in the chorus with loud and enthusiastic voices are either silent or murmuring a negative undercurrent. So often this happens when we’re most vulnerable — as children.
We take the silence of our parents or trusted adults as proof we are not worthy or special. We listen to their murmurs and turn up the volume until that din is all we can hear. Yet, deep in our hearts, we know this isn’t true; we know deep in our hearts this is somehow wrong and unfair.
Sometimes we are taught that it’s wrong to validate ourselves. Maybe you’ve been taught it’s boastful or prideful to love yourself. I remember sitting in Bible classes as a child and learning I was supposed to love myself last on a list that went something like God, others, self. It was as if there was only so much love to go around and you weren’t supposed to hoard it for yourself but rather give up your supply of love for everyone else. If you had any left over for yourself it was because you hadn’t given up enough to God or others.
I believe this is faulty reasoning. After all, doesn’t God say that you are to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18)? Galatians 5:14 says that the entire law of God is summed up in that single command. And didn’t Paul in Ephesians 5:28-29 say that a man was to love his wife like he loved his own body, in the same way Christ loves His Church?
It seems to me that loving yourself is a fundamental principle of God. Loving yourself is not supposed to be subservient to the love of others; love of self is the basis for love in others. This is why it is so important to be able to validate yourself as a person, created and loved by God, with intrinsic value and worth just for who you are.
Validation isn’t something to be earned; it is something to be claimed.
As an adult, I know that love isn’t a finite quantity. Love has no more boundaries and limitations than God does because God is love (1 John 4:8). Love is like the living water Jesus talked about to the woman at the well in John 4. There is an endless supply with plenty to go around.
Please know that God joins you in your validation. He’s the author of your worth and value, so why shouldn’t He shout it out with you? In The Message, Eugene Person translates Psalm 37:5-6 this way: “Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done. He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.”
RECOGNIZE, ILLUSTRATE, AND ESTABLISH SELF-WORTH
We’ve talked about recognizing your worth as a person. That’s just one of the components of validation. Validation also means to illustrate and establish.
Your actions to yourself illustrate your sense of self-worth. What you say is one thing; what you do is another. How you treat yourself, the attitudes you have about yourself, the forgivenss you show yourself, the love you have for yourself illustrate what is really true.
Once you recognize your value as a person, your need for the cheap clanging of outside excessities will fade. You need to illustrate the knowledge through action.