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Worth and Worthiness

“Due to significantly painful experiences, we may even lose trust in God. Many struggle to make sense of the trials and tribulations in their lives. As a result, we may find ourselves believing that God is punishing us, that we have done something wrong. We struggle with the deep feeling that God has withdrawn His providence from us, or that somehow we are unworthy of His love and protection. If we believe that God is punishing us, then how can we receive the love of God fully? The loss of trust taints and distorts the lens through which we see the world and others….we hold back in relationships. We fear getting too close and avoid depending on others at all costs. All of these things will cap and limit our ability to love others. We could attempt to love others with these limitations; however, we would be loving with fear (which will always be limited) rather than without fear, as God intends (see 1 John 4:18).” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is that we are created in the image and likeness of God. Sin is not us (you are not your sin). Sin is “anti-us.” Sin is the contradiction of the truth of our being. The good news is that this toxic burden can be lifted, forgiven, destroyed, and healed. It is in this process of forgiveness and healing that we encounter healthy shame. In the presence of God, we are revealed as creatures, the beloved offspring of His work. In His presence, the false images which we labor so hard to construct are allowed to fall away. Our failures and our successes pass into shadows. There is a form of emptiness that we find in that moment, while at the same time, discovering that God does not see us as worthless and sinful. Indeed, the truth and fullness of how He sees us is a mystery that exceeds description in its wonder.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Sometimes we feel tormented by the feeling that we are not worthy, that we don’t do enough, that we are not enough. We hide this from people and present a veneer to the world. We struggle and strive, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously, to gain a sense of worth through our accomplishments and achievements. Sometimes it’s really hard to accept that someone finds us worthy of being loved despite knowing the worst about us. But that is how God loves us. We know this in our heads but when it really sinks into our hearts it is both liberating but also motivating in the right way. It motivates us to freely love ourselves and others in the same forgiving and unconditional way He loves us.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“…unworthiness is not a cause for making someone abstain from Communion because it is precisely their unworthiness which makes them in need of the Eucharist and is the very reason why Christ came into the world – to save those who are unworthy and in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. Communion is a heavenly medicine to cure our spiritual ailments both our infirmities and transgressions….After all, Christ, knowing Judas had already betrayed Him, at the Last Supper gives even Judas Holy Communion!” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“…God is holy. Nothing unholy, unclean, and unrighteous can survive in His presence…How precious is the privilege of entering into the presence of the Holy God. It is possible only through the priestly ministry of our Great High Priest [Christ]. By His blood we are cleansed so that we know that He will not refuse us or cast us away from Him. But at every time and every place, we can hasten in prayer directly and confidently to the arms of our Heavenly Father. So if we hesitate to come to God because of a sense of unworthiness or fear of judgment, let us call upon [Christ]. By the sacrifice of Himself, He brings us forward to meet the Almighty God who is ever ready to receive us.” (Fr. Basil)

“…a good man and a very bright priest, sent me an email. In it he said, “I’ve come to the realization that my all-too-easy focus on my own unworthiness is tragically connected and interconnected to some of my own demons, that is, ‘I’m not good enough and never will be.’ And I easily call to mind my faults and blunders. I usually forget immediately anything good that I’ve done.” I’m a clinical psychologist who sees all kinds of people in all kinds of roles and all kinds of occupations. That priest’s astute insight into himself, his inner journey, is a statement of the same thoughts that many people, both men and women, unearth in counseling sessions. We feel inadequate. We can remember our faults and blunders but not much else.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)

“Utilitarian thinking is often disguised, but it still can result in lifelong entrapment if it is allowed in. Take the example of college. Most of us have been pragmatists, seeing college as a transactional entity in which the student spends four years of time and tuition to receive back a lucrative career. Parents advise their children to major in something “useful” rather than in the humanities, often under threat of withholding financial support. Desiring a sustainable career is noble, but such recommendations debase education—and our humanity. The pragmatic goal of having a useful degree can calcify into a dogma—or worse, reaffirm an unquestioned assumption—that you are only worthwhile if you are useful.” (Makoto Fujimura)

“Humility is necessary if we are to see into our wounds. However, one of obstacles to the discovery of the Divine Presence, that is the ground of even our wounds, is that we easily get caught in judging our own faults and failings…Somehow we come to believe that we are simply not adequate; that we can never be good enough…True humility is not convincing yourself that you are worthless but recognizing God’s worth in you.” (Martin Laird, Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:9.10)

“God wants us to learn our self-worth, and to understand that we are new creations in Jesus. We are valuable and loved by Him. This is a truth that we must guard carefully, in our hearts It is also a stabilizing force in our life as we learn to reject the negativity and poison the enemy tries to throw at us, or seeks to sow inside us.” (Frank Hammond)

“People with solid self-esteem don't measure their self-worth by how they perform. They are humble and know only God is perfect; in their enthusiasm they seek each day to receive the grace to be more responsive to what is good.” (Robert J. Wicks)

“Being"worthy” does not mean being sinless, but being cleansed. It is not legalism but commitment to walk in righteousness before God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 11:28)

"We are unworthy in and of ourselves and there is nothing we can do to change that other than accept the truth of Christ…being worthy isn’t about perfecting our behavior by our own will power. It is about really never losing the appreciation and awe for [Christ]… We are made worthy by Him.” (Sacramental Living)

“When we realize we are unworthy, paradoxically in that moment, we are actually worthy in God’s eyes because we are allowing Him in our hearts to help us become better people.” (Sacramental Living)

"Jesus wants us all to receive Him. At the last supper account in the Bible, He offers His body and blood to everyone at the table, including Judas Iscariot who had already made up his mind to betray Jesus. Judas was about to commit one of the worst sins ever, betraying Christ, and still, even knowing what was in his mind and heart, Jesus was reaching out to him. This is a powerful lesson for us not to deny ourselves through our own feelings of unworthiness, or worse to judge others and think they should not receive Christ.” (Joseph Girzone)

“The key to an honest and accurate self-evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth—our identity in Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 12:3)

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