Psalm 100:3; Acts 17:24-28; Romans 12:3; Matthew 22:39; 2 Samuel 9; Luke 15; Ephesians 4:23-32
God made us to be beautiful reflections of the first humans created in the Garden of Eden. God wants us to have healthy opinions of ourselves even in this world of sin.
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Play the “Appreciation Game.” Sit in a circle and choose one member of the group. Go around the circle and say, “I appreciate (person’s name) because...” The catch is that the compliment must focus on one of this person’s character traits. Move on to the next person until everyone has been appreciated. (This activity could take a while, so if the group is large or if time does not permit, have one person lead off by saying something complimentary about the person on his or her right. Continue around the circle until all have received a compliment.)
- Choose four people to read the parts of the four characters in “Worth Something.” After the reading, discuss how we are like these characters.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- The world tells us that to be beautiful, handsome, and successful, we must have a perfect body, lots of money, a cool car, and a big house. But how does God measure our worth?
- Thought Questions
Read Psalm 8:5 and Romans 12:3. These texts seem to contradict each other. Should we think highly of ourselves or not?
- If we’re Christians, we are actually better than non-Christians.
- Though we were created “a little lower than the angels,” we messed up and are failures now.
- We were created in God’s image―and that makes us special.
- Although we are far from what we were created to be, God has never given up on us.
- There is a balance between seeing ourselves as heirs to the throne and recognizing that we are sinners in need.
Read 1 Samuel 16:7. Humans can judge only the outward appearance, but God sees the heart. What difference should this make in how we view others and ourselves?
- We’ll have compassion for the hurting.
- We’ll be forgiving of others.
- We won’t see ourselves as better than others because of our race, education, or social status.
- We’ll strive to love God with our hearts, souls, and minds.0
- We’ll give of what we have―whether it’s money, time, or talents―from our hearts.
Read Luke 15. How can these parables strengthen our self-worth?
- By teaching us that we are worth searching for
- By helping us realize that God cares about just one who is lost―even if that “one” is you
- By pointing out that God the Father is waiting and watching for us to return home
- By showing us that God rejoices when we’re found―even if we chose to be lost for a while
- By helping us realize that we must be worth a lot if God would go through all that trouble on our behalf
Read Ephesians 4:23-32. This passage says that if we don’t like the way we are, we can put on a “new self.” What would this new person be like?
- One who speaks truthfully about others
- One who does not get angry to the point of sinning
- One who does something useful with his or her life
- One who edifies others with his or her words
- One who shows the same forgiveness that Jesus has shown to him or her
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Look through the magazines and find advertisements that suggest that self-worth comes from what we look like or what we have. Discuss how differently God views our worth.
- Option 2: Using blank paper and crayons, create your own magazine advertisement that shows how viewing ourselves through God’s eyes will result in a healthy sense of self-worth.
- Option 3: Brainstorm ideas for a “Self-Worth and Inner Beauty Program” for the preteen and teen girls in your church. Perhaps you can provide a special dinner and bring in a guest speaker or show a movie on this subject. Share your ideas with your pastor and help make this event happen.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Look at yourself in one of the mirrors. What do you see? Do you wish you could change anything? Ask yourself, “Would that make me a happier person?” Now close your eyes and take a look at your heart. What changes do you wish to make there, in your character? Would these changes make you a happier person?
- Think back to your childhood and recall the first memory of when someone said or did something that lowered your sense of self-worth. Now read 1 Peter 2:9 and think about this amazing fact: You were chosen, you are royalty, and you belong to God!
Next Week’s Scripture Focus:
Genesis 37; Exodus 20:17; 1 Samuel 18; Proverbs 27:4; Isaiah 14:12-14; Matthew 12:14; James 3:16, 17