EACH of us yearns to feel worthwhile and valuable, and yet most of us, at one time or another, have also experienced the emptiness of self-centeredness. What is it that we are looking for? Is there such a thing as a balanced sense of worth, and will it bring the happiness we seek? Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, speaks directly to this point: ``Happiness consists in being and in doing good; only what God gives, and what we give ourselves and others through His tenure, confers happiness: conscious worth satisfies the hungry heart, and nothing else can.''1
We do, then, need to be conscious of our worth. But the worth that comes from what God gives is not simply human self-confidence or self-assurance. These latter are subject to the problems inherent in all human valuing. In other words, some people will be considered to be worth less than others if judged by such factors as wealth, power, position, physical appearance, gender, race, creed, color. Self-assurance that's based on variable human factors is on shaky ground.
This view of worth is not God's view -- is not divine or absolute. The limitations that appear so factual to the physical senses are not what God places upon His creation. The Bible assures us that ``God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.''2 God's allness is not a limited, comparative thing. In God's creation, everything and everyone has this innate goodness, and we can discover it.
Now, this may seem nothing more than theory if you are faced with a feeling of worthlessness and the position you find yourself in only reinforces that sense of things -- if you're dealing with unemployment, divorce, menial daily tasks, lack of education, or whatever. But these are not conclusive indications of your worth, or of anyone else's, either, because worth in its truest sense is something totally spiritual, something inherent in our true selfhood as God's offspring. An understanding of the absolute perfection of man as the child of God, as His spiritual image, is a powerful force, which brings the divine law of God's goodness to bear on our specific situation.
At one time I was feeling very hopeless about my worth. Although I had a good education I could obtain only menial part-time jobs for which I was paid little. Also I was raising two children on my own.
But, through Christian Science I had become conscious of my worth as God's beloved and perfect child. I held to this understanding of my spiritual identity and endeavored to acknowledge the God-derived worth of my children and all those around me.
Gradually, over a period of four years, prayer led me to take steps that brought me into a field of work and a position that I had always cherished as my goal and that gave me purpose and fulfillment.
Becoming conscious of my worth as God's beloved child had not only comforted me but had transformed my experience. I could identify with the words of God's blessing upon Christ Jesus, ``This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.''3
An understanding of your worth as God's likeness can bless your experience too. There are no exceptions to the goodness of God's creation. In the spiritual reality of being not one is left out, not one is unworthy, not one is unloved. And this truth can be made practical today.
1Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 17. 2Genesis 1:31. 3Matthew 3:17. Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.