“My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. God lives in me.” (Book of Galatians)
Our value system is largely affected based on whether it comes from a God-centered viewpoint or an ego-centered viewpoint.
Ego-centeredness originates in our fallen nature; it centers everything on myself, causing my value system to also be distorted and self-focused.
If you are a person who does not necessarily believe in God, or a higher power, try and view this from a perspective that you simply did not “create” yourself. Therefore there is simply something greater than you.
We live in a culture where an individual’s value seems to be assigned from an external and superficial perspective, rather than from something greater than the self, and internal. Even though we may aspire to perceive to our value from this higher viewpoint, we can easily get snagged by a humanistic, external viewpoints, and be swayed by other people’s opinions or attitudes. By humanistic in this context I mean, the only thing we compare ourselves to is other humans. We might find ourselves doubting or questioning our intrinsic value that we posses when we start to compare ourselves to others, and be swayed by a more materialistic or humanistic viewpoint of “value.”
We then make decisions in our lives based on our perceptions of our value; be it ego-centered or “God”- centered. When we connect to a God-centered viewpoint, there is a peace, harmony, and confidence that comes from knowing I am created in God’s image, that I am loved, and that I have a unique and eternal value that doesn’t change and is not defined by what I do or don’t do.
If our value is defined from an ego-centered viewpoint, we often experience a cycle of doubting the value we have inside of us, and trying to fill that void, strive to get “better”, or improve, to validate my existence in many different kinds of ways. This often results in lower self-esteem as we underestimate ourselves, never seem to measure up to someone else, and keep chasing the carrot dangling in front of me, and feel unworthy of love.
We might feel a constant self-judgment, sense of failure, or find ourselves chasing after value in a conditional setting. This can increase our own insecurity and leaves us feeling more out of touch with our core value.
In order to develop and strengthen our original, intrinsic value, we need to intentionally make the effort to change our perspective; it won’t change unless we make that effort. In whatever situation I find myself, it is my responsibility to seek and rely on a perspective of me that is bigger than me, a process that requires humility and perseverance. We can change our understanding and experience of our value from external to internal, from superficial indicators to our profound intrinsic and unique nature, and from temporary, to eternal and everlasting.
When I connect to this point of view, the confidence in my value is strengthened. In a sense, we exchange “self” esteem for “God” esteem.