When did we start measuring our worth quantitatively?
I’ll tell you when it started for me. I was 12 when I crawled to the bathroom every morning to step on the scale.
The mornings I gained a pound or two, I was devastated. To make up for the number on the scale, I dangerously restricted my calorie intake. Yet, even when I saw the number I wanted to see, there was always a smaller number I could chase. A vicious, never-ending cycle fueled by an idol that quickly turned into a monster.
My weight defined me.
But that’s not it.
Then, high school presented the notorious GPA which would determine my entire future. I’ve never excelled in math, science, or even history, and I’ve always been a slow tester. When it came time to apply to colleges, I took the SAT four times, and my scores remained in the same range, no matter how hard I studied each time.
Everyone around me seemed smarter, their grades were higher, and they were all-around better students.
This emphasis on scores had an enormous impact on my self-esteem which leaked into many other areas of my life. For years, life revolved around test scores, GPA, and college. When I didn’t measure up, I felt worthless. Academics became an idol in my life.
The test scores defined me.
I thought I left that idol behind after I graduated college, but it showed itself once again in the form of income. My first job was in sales, based entirely around numbers. Every week, I was ranked. Every two weeks, my sales numbers determined my paycheck. Every month, expectations increased.
Most people were motivated by the competition, but for me, it was toxic. Money controlled me. The months I was behind, I felt worthless.
My paycheck defined me.
For years, my unhealthy relationship with numbers led to the abuse of my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, idolatry, envy, low self-esteem, and an altogether broken heart.
But the Lord has faithfully shown me my true worth.
Perhaps you idolize your weight, your grades, your salary, or your followers. Maybe you use numbers to measure your worth, like I did.
You should know this:
Your identity is found entirely outside of this world.
Isaiah 13:12 says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” You are more precious to God than fine gold and everything else the world considers valuable.
Image, human knowledge, wealth, and popularity hold no eternal significance. They are fleeting.
It’s when we draw from God and consider what is eternal that we recognize our idols.
By the grace of God, we can repent of our idolatry and rest in His forgiveness. We can let go of the numbers and accept our everlasting identity in Christ alone.
You are not a number.
You are a child of God bought by the blood of Jesus, and His blood is greater than any number could ever determine.