Where Do We Get Our Worth From?
Part 4 of the Codependent in Colossians Series
by Kim Pullen
Series Manifesto: Instead of ignoring the pain following the disclosure of our spouse’s sexual sin, we choose to use our trauma as a catalyst for growth, digging deeply into God’s Word in search of spiritual healing and transformation.
“And we pray this in order that you may life a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way…”
This is the first in a five-part miniseries on Colossians 1:10-12.
I grew up constantly fighting to prove I was worthy of my father’s acceptance and approval.
For example, when I was 16 and my brother was 14, our whole family raced dirt bikes, even my Mom (yes, we were an odd lot). Not until years later did I realize that I consistently won first or second place at all the races my father attended. The events he didn’t attend though, I didn’t even bother to finish the race because my dad wasn’t there to see me pick up my trophy.
See, my dad was raised to believe that showing love or affection was a sign of weakness. I can count on one hand the number of times he voluntarily hugged me prior to his death. This is a type of emotional abandonment.
Repeating the Pattern
I don’t blame my dad. He just did what his father taught him, and so on back. That’s what happens to us. We simply replicate in our current relationships what was familiar to us in our childhood. It’s all we know. Most of the time we don’t even realize we’re repeating the pattern.
That’s why the gospel is so transformational. First, it opens our eyes to those patterns (Romans 7:14-23). Second, it corrects us and teaches us what is healthy (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and finally, it points us to imitating Jesus who turned to God alone for affirmation and acceptance (Matthew 3:17)
That’s what Paul is talking about in Colossians 1:10. We don’t earn God’s love or acceptance. We already have it as human beings created in his image.
Only God Can Bear It
If we have abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual) or abandonment (physical or emotional) in our background, our default is to look to people to find our worth and value. But other sinful people—many with the same issue—can’t carry that burden of responsibility. They weren’t meant to.
But God can. Jesus bore the weight of our worth on the cross.
Let’s choose to free ourselves from this unconscious but persistent pattern of seeking our worth from people.
Question: What are the persistent patterns in your life? Who do you look to for affirmation besides God?
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