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Measuring my worth against others is a slippery slope. On level ground, the tension eases and I can enjoy the view.

Know your worth.

To be honest with you, I need to know my own worth, too.

It’s a work in progress.

Often I struggle to know my value as a writer.

When I first started to write, I measured my qualities in terms of acquiring a book contract. “If I were to get a book published, I would be a successful writer and a real author,” I thought.

I’ve moved on from there.

However, recently I learned another valuable lesson about how I see myself.

This past weekend, I attended the New England Christian Writers Retreat.

Liz Curtis Higgs and I at New England Christian Writer's Retreat
Liz Curtis Higgs and I at New England Christian Writer’s Retreat

Liz Curtis Higgs led a workshop on Honoring God with your words in fiction and non-fiction.

She stood at the front of the classroom with her arms stretched out. One hand pointed high in the air while the other hand aimed towards the floor.

“Where do you see yourself as a writer on this sloping line?” She challenged us.

I knew the answer. “Somewhere near the bottom,” I thought, “but not totally at the bottom.”

Then Liz adjusted her hands so her arms were horizontal.

I got it.

It’s not about seeing ourselves as better or worse than others – it’s about being on an equal footing.

The problem with placing ourselves on a gradient is we attach our standing—our worth—to where we are on the line, and with this approach comes a whole host of negative attitudes.

“I’m not as good as her,” I dwell on jealously. “But, then I’m not as bad as her,” I consider proudly.

You don’t need to be a writer to view the world in this way.

Perhaps it’s in your role as a mother. You see a kid acting out, and you think, “I would never let my child do that.” Immediately you’ve placed yourself higher up the slope than the other mother. I know. I’ve done that.

Perhaps it’s at work, in your family, or even at church.

The problem is, if we perceive we have a mountain to conquer, then we are focused on climbing higher or falling back. We stare at those ahead of us, and we glance down on those who are behind us.

Mountains are hard work.

My attitude changed as I looked at Liz holding her arms out straight.

On level ground, the tension disappears. I don’t have to struggle to get ahead. Instead, I can look out and enjoy the view.

We walk together and work together.

We all have something of value to add to the world.

The arms of Jesus, held out horizontal for each of us, teach us we all have worth. We all have purpose.

How do you view your worth?  Can you place yourself on the horizontal line instead of the slippery slope?

Linking up with Angie at #100HappyDays, Susan Mead at #DancewithJesus, Jaime Wiebel at #SittingAmongFriends, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth

  • I never thought of comparison like that, but it is a great way to remember that we are all on equal ground. I love the picture of walking together on level ground and looking out into the horizon. Thank you so much for sharing this encouragement on 100 Happy Days!

  • Hello Rachel,
    I’m loving your blog.
    Thank you for this write-up on ‘worth.’
    I have struggled with knowing my worth in relationships. But thanks be to God, He has delivered me by constantly reminding me that I am His MASTERPIECE! Created in Christ Jesus.
    So now, I just keep my eyes fixed on Jesus instead of my perceptions and circumstances.
    Thank you once more.

  • In other words, we’re all in the same boat. Comparison really is the thief of joy. But if you have to see yourself going up that mountain, reach back and help someone else.

  • Rachel,
    I heard so many freeing truths last weekend and that illustration by Liz, coupled with Lori’s reminder of Nehemiah’s story and the exhortation that we all have our piece of the wall, was very powerful.

  • Yes, Rachel! Let’s hear it for seeing ourselves as He sees us … much loved, valued, precious, priceless.

    And find that these qualities spill over into the dailyness of our writing, our living, our tasks …

  • Great visual from Liz, thanks for sharing it and your heart, Rachel. It’s so true, and I will be using this as a visual person when I’m tempted to compare.
    Thank you for being a blessing to so many!

  • I have been haunted, even tortured by comparing myself to everyone else. I just thank God for bringing your words into my life today. I feel lighter and free. The statement was made that “comparison is a thief of joy”, it reminded me of satan’s tricks. Comparison is a weapon of destruction that is completely in opposition to the Message of Christ. Your words have given me peace. Thank you

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