I had dinner with a friend tonight who does exceptional work. She works with people who have “terminal” health conditions. She has seen an astounding number of health reversals or “miracles.” But not everybody gets well. She said that the number one difference in every situation between someone getting better or getting worse was this:
The ones who got better believed they were worthy of getting better.
Worthiness. It struck me across the soul. My mind instantly raced into dozens of scenarios where I had given up on fighting for change because I didn’t feel worthy to receive a new situation. I thought of all the areas in my life where I had resigned myself to the status quo. I think of my Mom on her deathbed. She had battled cancer off and on for 14 years and we had seen some amazing turn arounds in her health- what I call miracles. But now a mood had set in there in the ICU where I felt like we had used up all our wishes. That we had received so many more years than most in her situation so we should just be thankful for that and give up. Let someone else have the miracle now. What a horrific lie! As if there is a limit to “miracles” in this world!
I don’t know if I could have changed anything in that hospital room but I do know that I am sick of feeling unworthy in this life. I’m not sure where it comes from. The guilt of being born in the 1st world, in the richest nation on earth. The guilt of having certain things turn out favorable in my life while others suffer. Maybe it arises from falling short of my high expectations of myself.
I sat quietly for 20 seconds. I took notice any unworthy thoughts arising. I asked myself why I feel unworthy. The first thing that came up was “I haven’t done enough to help people in the world.” Then a flood of negative thoughts rushed in like a lake through a ruptured damn. “I’m lazy. I’m selfish. I eat too much. I make too many mistakes. I’m not courageous enough…” Whoa. Tell me how you really feel, Mr. Mind.
Sometimes I spend my entire day trying to justify my existence. Like there is some judge asking me, “What are you doing here and what do you have to offer?”
So how do I convince myself of my worth?
The thing that bothers me is I think that if I tell myself I’m worthy of all the good in my life, I’ll stop being grateful and start becoming more selfish and hoarding things and pursue pleasing only myself. Plus when I have told myself that I am worthy of all the good in my life… there is an air of falseness to it, like I’m a child telling myself I’m an astronaut.
What’s interesting is that when Jesus would heal someone, nearly every time He would tell them that their sins were forgiven first. As if that was some sort of set up to make room for a miracle. As if being totally and completely forgiven and accepted catalyzed a chain reaction within their body, mind, spirit and effectively made them feel worthy of a miracle for the first time in their life.
I think there’s something there. The sense of worth must originate from some external authority, a ‘worthy’ authority. If it originates from somewhere internally, worth based on merit, on achievement, on accomplishment, then the sense of worth will be conditional. A sense of worth based on performance will at best, spoil a soul with pride and at worst, leave one feeling worthless. But if the sense of worth comes from the outside, from a source that unlike some friends, family, and the crowd of this world, doesn’t rate based on how well you do, how you look, nor what you do, then maybe that is something to base our worth on.
“Your faith has made you well.” Jesus said many times while performing a miracle. It’s as if we have some part to play in miracles. What if that faith is to believe that our worth does not come from us doing ‘bad’ or ‘good’ things, or success, but from the Living God? Who created us in His image. Who calls us His sons and daughters and Who loved us completely before we were even a thought. Unconditional, Permanent Approval.
How would my life change if I saw my true worth each day? What would I stop chasing? What would I stop trying to prove to everyone and myself? What kind of person would I be?
and for you…