I want to make something abundantly clear, because I have a feeling at least one person out there needs to hear it. Our TRUE worth has nothing to do with the size of our bank accounts, but rather the size of our hearts. In other words, by what we are, not what we have.
Our True Worth Comes From Who We Are, Not What We Have
Since the dawn of civilization, we humans have classified each other into two categories: the haves and the have-nots. In other words, those who have money and fancy things, and those who don’t.
Somewhere along the line, someone decided that the “haves” are worth more. Why? Well, simply because they have more. I think that is just the most ridiculous thing ever, don’t you? I think true worth comes not from the size of our bank accounts and our homes, but rather from the size of our hearts.
The size of your heart matters so much more than the size of your bank account
I know that sounds kind of like a fortune cookie cliché, but it’s so true. If you look up the word “worth,” you’ll see that it has quite a few definitions. Sure, a few of them talk about a sum of money or number of things. However, there are others with far more meaning.
One, in particular, refers to “the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.” Think about the people that you value the most, like your parents, grandparents, best friends, and so on. What comes to mind? I don’t know about you, but how much money they have is absolutely nowhere on my list.
To me, the most valuable people are those that are kind and compassionate. People who think of others and do their part to make the world a better place. You don’t need to be rich to be or do any of those things. Likewise, you don’t need a single dime to be a truly wealthy person.
Like “worth,” the word “wealth” actually has a few definitions beneath its dictionary entry. Again, some of them refer to money. Let’s ignore those. I particularly like this one: a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing. I’d say that kindness, compassion, and empathy are pretty darn desirable, wouldn’t you?
Look, money can buy a lot of things, but personality traits aren’t among them. You can’t just go to the store to pick up a kind soul and a gentle heart!
I’d go so far as to say that some of the world’s wealthiest people are also the poorest…and vice-versa.
Some of the world’s poorest people are also the wealthiest
Let’s be real, there are quite a few financially rich people out there who are absolutely bankrupt in the heart and soul department, right? However, I believe that there are far more financially “poor” people – both past and present- who have made this world an infinitely better place.
I could give you a lot of examples, but one really popped out at me when I was researching. There’s a man named James Harrison who saved over 2 million unborn babies. He didn’t do it by donating money, though. He gave blood. A LOT of blood. See, he has a rare antibody that actually saves babies from a life-threatening form of anemia called Rhesus.
You won’t find Harrison on any of the “wealthiest men alive” lists. Heck, you have to dig to find any info on him at all. Yet his kind heart and compassionate soul make him “worthy” beyond compare to the millions of parents who got to watch their children grow up thanks to his gift.
There are so many others out there like Harrison. People who saved millions of lives. Or people who saved just one. People who stood up for what’s right and changed the entire fate of a nation, Or people who stood by just one and changed that person’s destiny. A near-endless list of people who have very little in the way of things, but SO much in their hearts.
Look, I’m not going to pretend that money doesn’t matter at all. It does. We need it to survive in this world that we’ve created. It stinks that we’ve become a society of people who value green paper above people. It is what it is, though.
However, money has absolutely ZERO role in determining your true worth. Zip, zilch, nada. You can buy a beautiful house and fill it with countless things, but that doesn’t make you a valuable person.
What’s in your heart and your soul? That’s where the real value lies.
Your self-worth actually helps you improve your financial worth
Maybe you’re thinking, “Fine, I get it. My self-worth is amazing, but that doesn’t help me pay the bills!” Well, actually, you may be wrong there, at least according to one study done by the University of British Columbia.
Researchers found that “For people in poverty, remembering better times – such as past success – improves brain functioning by several IQ points and increases their willingness to seek help from crucial aid services.”
In other words, by focusing on the good parts of your life- and your own self-worth- you’re actually improving your overall chances of reaching your financial-worth goals. Jiaying Zhao, the study’s co-author, says, “This study shows that surprisingly simple acts of self-affirmation can improve the cognitive function and behavioral outcomes of people in poverty.”
Another intriguing study reiterates the importance of not tying your view of yourself to the numbers on your bank statement. This one from 2017, done by the University at Buffalo found that there are significant downsides to believing that you will be happier if you just have more money.
“We found that people who highly based their self-worth on financial success used more negative emotion-related words, like sadness and anger,” says Lora Park, lead author. “This demonstrates that just thinking about a financial problem generates a lot of stress and negative emotions for these individuals.”
Sure, we all want to increase our net worth, but in the grand scheme of life, I’d much rather be on a list of financially poor people with a rich heart than financially rich people with a bankrupt heart. How about you?
I’ll leave you with one last quote that I really love, by C. Joybell C. It goes, “You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.”
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