Thursday, January 23, 2014

Valuing Yourself

Have you ever had someone say directly to you, "I don't value you"?  Chances are you haven't.  I have.  I had been volunteering for a Christian ministry for a number of months.  I was told I wasn't valued and the work I had been doing was not valued.  In fact, I was told some of the reports I worked hours on were deleted because "they were too long".  I quit the moment I was told I was not valued and my work wasn't valued, but I can't help but wonder if I had been willing to continue if they would have let me because it was free labor.

Growing up and even into my early thirties I had believed that I should tolerate this kind of behavior by others.  After all, it's turning the other cheek, right?  It's the Christian thing to do, correct?  It lines up with those neon letters wore around my wrist in the mid-1990s "WWJD".

But think about it for a moment. . . Jesus invested in people who appreciated Him.  He had TWELVE disciples.  The inner circle was three men.  Some may think I'm stretching to make this point, but I don't believe I am.  Jesus knew the value of time, He only had 33 years on earth.  He wanted to spend it wisely.

So why should I be doing things for people who don't appreciate them?  I have given generously to others, sometimes without even a thank you in return for hundreds of dollars of items given.  I'm tired of doing and people just expecting it.  Being a Christian should not mean I'm a doormat, nor should I be made to feel guilty because I value myself and my work.

I have a friend who posts some beautiful photos on Facebook.  She sells them, too.  I've told her she needs to put a copyright across them because people have been downloading them from Facebook and having them printed, therefore not valuing her time and talents to reciprocate.  I had this happen to me with a photo I took of my guinea pigs.  I didn't put my guinea pigs' fan page in text on the photo, and it got shared on the Internet without giving me credit for it.

I saw a joke on Facebook recently that said, "Your camera takes great pictures.  Thanks.  I thought it everything it knows."  Good photography isn't something that comes automatically with a camera.  I took four college level photography classes.  Or in layman's terms, I spent almost $2,000 in photography training.  (Of course I had grants and scholarships, but still.)

Do you go to a doctor and decide what you are going to pay him?  No, he spent lots of time and money going through school and as the Bible says "the worker is worth his wages".  You (or your insurance) will pay  $200 for seeing him for fifteen minutes. 

Just because someone is a friend doesn't mean that you don't need to value their expertise.  I have a friend who is a doctor.  I don't even call him "Doctor".  I have, however, called him at times trying to determine if I should go to the emergency room or not.  I don't take this lightly.  Even though he makes a nice income, he is someone I'm really hoping to win something nice to give him at some point because he has been so generous to me with his knowledge and time, I want to be generous with what I have as well.  (I enter contests and sweepstakes as a hobby.)

Not only is the world better off when we value ourselves, we tend to value others as well.  Plus it makes others feel better about doing things and sharing with you in the future if you give as generously as they do.

I chose this photo to display on my blog today because that is an Olympic torch from the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta.  Just like Olympians know the value of their hard work, it's important for all of us to know the value of our contributions to society!


  1. Needed to read this today, thanks. One of the most toxic messages of dysfunctional Christianity is that humans have no worth, no value, unless God makes them presentable. It's hard to shake sometimes.

  2. I'm glad I posted it then! I've had this in my drafts folder for almost a year! Just decided to bring it out today! :)