A few links ago I said of an article about empowerment pop “I think this might be one of the most controversial issues in youth work today.” I didn’t mean that tongue in cheek. I think the most controversial verse in the bible for Christian youth work today is this,
As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.” (“Romans 3:10-12”:http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+3&version=NIV)
That’s Paul, quoting two Psalms and a verse of Ecclesiastes. Why so controversial? Because he describes everyone as worthless. No-one does good. No one seeks God. All are worthless. Now, we know the rest of Romans and it’s great, because Paul shows us that Christ died for us while we were worthless sinners, and brought us to God and made us children of God and heirs with Christ. A heritage that is awesome and wondrous and unshakable. And it’s unshakable because it’s rooted in Christ dying for us; His death does everything needed to bring us worthless sinners to God and so is completely secure. But contemporary empowerment pop wants us to know that we’re not worthless sinners, that we are all worthy people, and that we’re loved by God because we’re loveable. That sounds nice and everything, but in reality it’s not, because the security we have in Christ collapses. If the security of my salvation is based on my worth, then not only am I going to feel more or less secure depending on how I perceive myself day to day, but my security is going to depend on me being worthy. And how can I make myself worthy to God who knows all my sins? But if my security is based on Christ’s death for me though I’m a sinner who does not deserve it, then I can walk away rejoicing! After all, if God gave up His Son for me while I was His enemy, how will he not also give me all things?
So, how do we teach our young people when it comes to self-worth and esteem? We have something much better to teach them than the world when it comes to their value. They can have complete confidence that if they turn to Jesus then they are totally loved and found worthy in Christ Jesus despite anything and everything they do. That their worth will no longer be found in how they look, feel, or how loveable they are, but found eternally, unshakeably, in Jesus Christ.