Net Worth Defined by Self Worth?

Once again Ruth’s post from last week has been a catalyst for my subsequent post as I couldn’t quite put all of my thoughts down in the comments area without being extremely long-winded. ๐Ÿ™‚ But Ruth’s post gave me a clear picture of how my self worth and my husband’s self worth affected our net worth.

Last week Ruth talked about the taboos society has created about receiving charity:

“If youโ€™re too ashamed to accept charity, what does that say about how you give?ย Doesnโ€™t it suggest a contempt for the ones receiving your gift? Since they are in a position that would be shameful to you?”

I had to laugh at this line because of how we felt in our own hearts about receiving charity for many years.

We too, shunned charity. But not because we thought we were above taking it. Instead, we thought we weren’t good enough to receive charitable or unearned gifts from others. We thought that because we knew we’d made our own money mess.

Our Subconscious Destruction of Our Net Worth

Ironically (or not so ironically ๐Ÿ™‚ ) this realization came to the forefront for me just a couple of days before I read Ruth’s post. I was talking and praying with the Lord, thanking Him for all of the goodness He’s given our family, yet feeling unworthy of that goodness. As I talked with the Lord the following verse popped into my head:

“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” -Luke 12:29-32

God wants to bless people; it’s His nature. However, in my case I found myself rejecting blessings of any kind for many years because I didn’t feel worthy to receive them.

And that included charitable gifts.

The view of myself that I held secretly on the inside was that I just wasn’t good enough. And that view, I’ve learned, had a profound affect on my subconscious and how our family managed money.

As we’ve worked (largely through study of the Bible) to discover just how very much God loves us, our self worth has grown, and as such, our net worth as grown as we’ve come to understand and accept that we deserve financial security. That understanding has completely changed our subconscious views of ourselves and as such, has completely changed the way we’ve managed our money.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” -Romans 5:8-9

The point I’m trying to make is that if the Creator of the Universe loves us with such an unconditional love, shouldn’t we then love ourselves?

It was this revelation that has helped change our net worth as we changed our self-worth.

For years I had been listening to the lies in my head that told me that I was one big screw up. Those lies subconsciously dictated how we managed our money – I’m certain of it. Rick, having believed the same lies about himself, felt as I did, that while we wanted financial security we didn’t deserve financial security. So we subconsciously made choices with our money that sabotaged any chance of financial security.

I thought we’d mostly overcome those lies but I learned this week that there were still some deep-rooted residuals floating around when I thought about my attitude toward receiving charity.

It’s amazing to me how much our view of ourselves affects our choices in life whether we realize it or not.

And whereas in my case I can make many arguments as to why I might not deserve wealth because of my mistakes, I certainly can’t and won’t argue with the Creator of the universe who says I am – and all people are – worthy. And honestly, it’s much more fun living life from His viewpoint about me than it is from my own.

As we’ve worked to accept God’s view of our worth, our net worth has increased, our debt levels have decreased and we become more successful with money because of who we are in the eyes of Christ.

Conclusion

If you’re trying to get your money stuff together but just can’t seem to make it work no matter how hard you try, take a peek into your subconscious. See if maybe hidden feelings of unworthiness are affecting how you manage your money on a subconscious level. Often times we make super small money mistakes that add up to big financial problems over a long period of time because we don’t honestly see ourselves as deserving wealth.

If that’s the case with you, make a choice to love yourself for who you are. God does. ๐Ÿ™‚

19 comments on “Net Worth Defined by Self Worth?

  1. It’s amazing how hard it is for us to truly understand grace. That we don’t deserve it is part of its very definition, yet we keep getting stuck on this point! That’s very interesting how feeling unworthy has influenced your financial lives. I haven’t experienced that financially that I can think of, but it’s certainly affected other areas of my life such as friendships and marriage.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Laurie! I cannot say feelings of unworthiness have affected my finances (maybe they have, but I haven’t recognized it as such?), but these I have had these feelings in my relationships. Even when you know, and have been reassured, that others believe you are worthy, it is sometimes hard to graciously accept it. But once you accept that maybe it’s true, life changes for the better.

  3. It’s awesome that you had read this timely message before Ruth’s post. Our wedding verse was Matthew 6:33 “Seek first his Kingdom and rightesnouss, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

    I felt like I had destroyed my net worth when I left the railroad and my first job plans got derailed (pun intended) shortly after leaving. If I had the opportunity to return I would have in that instant because of the relative security I had in that job. Now I’m getting paid to do what I like because of that rough spot.

    But, as Kalie mentioned, it’s very hard for us to understand the power of grace. During that transition period we talked to a good family friend. He said (I’m paraphrasing) God will fix mistakes but will not necessarily fix deliberate defiance. We left my former job for a better quality of life for our family & we had a plan to afford the decision. That speedbump was a small detour, but, we are doing just fine.

    We have to be cautious with our spending, but one year later, we have no regrets and that time was a great opportunity to see how the generosity & advice of others helped us grow stronger and experience the wonder of God.

    1. Wow, what powerful words from your friend, Josh!!! I think you guys made the absolute right move. We hope to follow suit soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You make such great points, and I love the way you interlace them with God’s Word. Thinking back on all of the financial troubles we had, I have to say that ignorance was our biggest problem. I truly believe that if we had known then all of the things I’ve learned from the online personal finance community, it all would have been so different. We seriously didn’t know there was anything like debt snowballs or debt avalanches. We didn’t know what we didn’t know so we didn’t know how to even go about finding out. Confusing? Oh yeah!

    1. It was SO not talked about then, Kay. It was considered taboo to even bring up money in many circles. I think Dave Ramsey really broke the mold with his book. He was the first one I remember saying “We screwed up and got ourselves into a really big mess.”

  5. “I thought weโ€™d mostly overcome those lies but I learned this week that there were still some deep-rooted residuals floating around…” It’s so important to find a time in the day to be introspective and ready for a bit of revelation. The more you recognize about yourself, the more you can surrender to God so that he can work it to the good. It is SO cool that you were dealing with this issue just before my post. I love the way that works : )

  6. Having the proper self image / self worth is such an important starting point. We all face outside negative influences/doubts that will only enhance our own insecurities if we don’t deal with our own feeling first. Sometimes easier said then done.

    1. So true, Brian, on both counts. I know that at first we thought it was all about budgeting, but then we began the hard work of figuring out WHY we spent more than we made. It wasn’t an easy process, but I’m glad we went there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Great post! I agree with you, we are loved and therefore we should act loving toward ourselves, physically, financially and emotionally, etc. When I first heard Dave Ramsey talk about money and spiritual matters, it all fell into place for me. That was truly the catalyst for me to stop spending to find my self worth and look to God for my value. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I dont tjink Ive ever experienced this because Im a tightwad and a part of keeping my money in check has always involved accepting what others have already offered to give me. I am however reluctant to ask for help when I need it. Im sure that is something I could work on.

  9. “Often times we make super small money mistakes that add up to big financial problems over a long period of time because we donโ€™t honestly see ourselves as deserving wealth.” YES! This is such an important thing to think about and reflect on. I think this can extend to other situations. Let’s say you are at an “okay” job but you just feel a burning desire to go into a different field or strike out on your own. I think this is a really tough situation because not only are you going to talk yourself out of it subconsciously (and consciously), you also will hear others negative thoughts about it (honestly because I think others don’t like seeing other people succeed or take risks).

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