There are days when I don’t see my children’s worth. I’m just being honest. There are times when I must search long and hard to see something redeeming, something worth celebrating. With six children in our home, a lot of junk and drama can find its way into our life.

Like most children, mine can do and say things that push me over the edge. Yet, there are days when I find myself bragging to a stranger on an airplane about one of them, shamelessly pulling up pictures on my phone. My apologies to Brennan from Grand Rapids, Michigan. You heard far more about my son than you ever wanted. I love my children desperately, yet I am not the one to calculate their worth.

There are lots of things we must earn in this world. Money, respect, trust, grades, titles, and positions, are not given out freely. Maybe that is why we struggle to believe that we are worthy. When we look at the world’s standard of worth instead of what God has already done, we take on that false identity. We see opportunities to earn worth and we can’t turn them down.

In our humanness, we determine worth by behavior most of the time. We define someone’s worth by their performance or contribution, and we judge ourselves in the same way. We look at our messy house, our unfinished projects, and the behavior of our difficult child, and we believe that we are worthless. Maybe you wouldn’t say that word to describe yourself; it sounds harsh. Worthless, however, is defined as “having no real value or use”. How many days have you felt like you were not valuable or that your efforts were useless?

Worth, however, is determined by how much someone is willing to pay. Recently, I saw an old metal “Dukes of Hazard” lunchbox. I wanted to buy it for my brother so badly, but I was not willing to pay $45 for it. Later someone did, so now the lunchbox is worth $45. You are a masterpiece. God’s beautiful treasure for which he was willing to pay the highest price. Your worth has already been determined by the sacrifice of his love.

Do you believe God loves you? I thought I believed that I was loved. I told other people that he loved them. I believed God’s Word, that Jesus died to forgive me. Yet, each day the messages that played in my mind and soul contradicted that. Continual thoughts of my failures pushed me to try harder and do more. My life looked like a huge attempt at making up for my imperfections. I did not want to disappoint my husband, my children, my church or God. I was not living like I was loved. I was living like I was looking for love.

Being loved by God is who you are. It identifies you as his child; you can’t do more to further earn it. Yet, do you walk out into the world with the mindset of a beloved child of a king? Or do you live each day hoping to “get it together”? Do you rest peacefully knowing that he is for you, cheering you on? Or do you rest your head on your pillow at night feeling like a disappointment?

When we are working to earn our worth, it makes sense that we are afraid to say no, afraid to rest or think about taking care of ourselves. Most of us believe that worth is connected to our performance and perfection, but God loves his children; the ones who got it right today and the prodigal ones who will come back later. Worth is already yours because you are a wanted treasure, a daughter of the King.