But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. – Acts 20:24
Much has been said (and written) about the importance of recognizing one’s self-worth and maintaining a healthy self-image. It has been widely assumed that both are essential parts of the formula for personal emotional health and success in life. There are even some popular “Christian” churches that have built their attendance on this premise.
Unfortunately, it is a half-truth, which is just a deceptive way of disguising a lie.
Paul said, “… I count my life of no value to myself…,” and then went on to give the purpose of his life, which was, “… to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” Note that he never said his life wasn’t valuable. He never said he had no worth. What he WAS saying is that self-esteem is not the goal, rather the goal should be a life that is esteemed by God. Paul knew his life was worthy, because God is worthy and Paul had given that life to Him. Surrender appropriates grace and the result is a worth above and beyond imagination.
To esteem self is idolatry, resulting in despair. To esteem God is worship, resulting in infinite hope.
The self is just not a worthy enough vehicle to worship. – Peter Coyote