“I left the price tag on, on purpose.” My mom said as I opened the small square hinged box. It definitely made the moment a bit awkward. Who leaves the price tag on I thought. Inside the box was a beautiful pair of earrings, more valuable than any I’d owned before. “I wanted you to know what they were worth so that you would know how to take care of them.”

I remember thinking “oh Mom.” Based on my age at the time, I may or may not have let an eye roll slip. (pretty sure I did.) Grateful for the gift, I wasn’t initially ready to admit that she was probably right. She was right. I took much better care of them knowing their value.

The other day I was reminded about those earrings. My eyes glanced from my jewelry box to the large mirror behind it, with my reflection staring back at me. The profoundness of that awkward moment years ago hit me. The value we perceive in something often changes how we treat it. Truth is, for years I lost my own sense of value. I didn’t take care of me as a result. I gained weight, smiled a bit less, and started to slip behind a facade rather than really live. It’s easy to do when the world around us influences how we see ourselves and we’re all too quick to remind ourselves of our shortcomings.

A few common sources of our sense of value:

  • The words of people around us. They may be encouraging or build us up. But, too often they tear us down and tell us we’re not enough.
  • The actions of people in our lives. Maybe it’s the parent, spouse, or friend that never seems to have time for us. Their lack of presence tells us that we don’t matter the way we wish we did. Or, perhaps their investment reassures our sense of worth and builds our confidence.
  • Strangers, the world at large. We often tap into messages society tells us. Stories on the news, comments of leaders, good or bad, war to feed our internal chatter.
  • Our internal chatter. What we tell ourselves, what we repeat to ourselves greatly impacts the sense of self worth we develop.

The truth about self-worth:

None of those sources are the truth. Sure they attempt to feed our internal dialog but, none of them convey your true value, not a one. On Valentine’s Day, those sources can scream loudly. We may be fortunate enough to get a cherished reminder that we are loved. Conversely, we may be disappointed with crashed expectations. Or, we may spend it alone. No matter which of the three scenarios describes your day, it doesn’t change your worth.

When we live by the complements of people, we’re bound to die by their criticism. Shake the urge to judge your value based on situations. Friend, our value comes from what God alone says. If he could, he’d say “Child, I’ve left your price tag on because I wanted you to know what you’re worth so that you would know how to take care of you.”

What does God say about your value?

  • You’re his miracle. He knit you together from before you were born and made you just like you are.
  • God has a plan for your life. You were created with a divine plan and design because you matter!
  • He knows you’re not perfect but forgives you because his love is bigger than your mound of mistakes.
  • He loves you so much his son died to save you.

Last year God reminded me of my value. It put me on a path to take better care of me. I feed my spirit and exercise my body regularly. I’ve changed how I talk to myself and have quieted the world’s input on my sense of value. The difference – I’m really living and embracing the life he’s given me.

Enjoy the love, kindness and compassion others share with you. But, don’t let it translate to what you think you are worth. No box of chocolates, no bouquet of flowers, and no piece of jewelry will ever change what God has written on your tag. Today he’s saying “Child, I’ve left your price tag on because I wanted you to know what you’re worth so that you would know how to take care of you.” 

Be blessed friend! God loves you more than a box of chocolates!  And, be sure to click and join the conversation. I’d love to hear from you.

Before you go, a few other nuggets to enjoy: