CJ Redwine on Where Our Worth Comes From
Updated: Oct 10, 2020
Welcome to our new series, called Live Your Love, a series of mini-posts from Christian authors and creatives that centers on living our lives entirely for Christ. The authors and creatives you love, and hopefully some you haven’t yet discovered, will reveal how their love of Christ affects their daily life. And the coolest thing about this series, to me, is that it shows just how united we all are in Christ, no matter what our job, our age, or our hometown.
I’m excited to begin this series with some great words from C. J. Redwine.
Truth Readers: What advice do you have for teens on social media?
C. J.: Social media is such a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's a great way to connect to friends and build community with people you may not have otherwise met.
On the other hand, it can be an anxiety-producing cesspool of bullying and inauthenticity. It's incredibly important to know who you are and why you are worthy.
Who you are has nothing to do with the number of followers you get or the amount of times a post is shared. Your worth is not determined by the number of likes or comments a post receives. You are a child of God.
His love for you is unconditional and unending. You are worthy of dignity, respect, and space in this world because He has given that to you. Nothing anyone does on social media can ever take that from you. And if it starts to feel like social media is pulling you away from the truth, it helps to remember that social media is voluntary, and you can always choose to walk away.
- C. J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author
You Are A Child of God
I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before. But what does it mean to be a child of God?
Here are six verses that call us children of God:
John 1:12 – “But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
Romans 8:16-17 – “The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
1 John 3:1 – “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
Galatians 3:26 – “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 4:4-6 – “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, so that He might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’”
Ephesians 1:5 – “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”
Wow, it would take a long time to unpack all those verses. But now you can see that C.J.’s terminology comes directly from scripture. Take comfort in the truth of God’s Word! We are children of God, and this gives us eternal hope and eternal identity.
Our identity is founded on the fact that we are God’s children. Regardless of who our earthly family is, even though it often has an enormous impact on our identity here on earth, our eternal, unchanging, self-defining identity is found in Christ.
Identity in Christ
How does knowing Christ affect our identity? Take a look at Romans 8:16-17 above.
If children, heirs also.
Wow. Have you ever thought about what it means to be an heir of God? We inherit things from God the same way the eldest son used to inherit property and riches from his father. That is the kind of heir we are. We inherit the kingdom (see James 2:5). We inherit eternal life (see Titus 3:7). We inherit every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (see Ephesians 1:3). That’s the biggest inheritance we could ever possibly imagine. And it’s even bigger than we can imagine.
This is what it means to be a child of God.
This is what it means to be an heir of God.
This is what it means to have eternal value.
This is why your identity rests in the fact that you are God’s child, set to inherit all He has to give his children.
Be Glorified with Him
If you’re that person asking, “But what about the end of verse 17?” Let’s look at that.
The end of Romans 8:17 says, “. . . if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
Yikes, that might sound scary. Suffering doesn’t sound so good, right? And we’re here to encourage you, to give you hope in that fact that you are God’s child. What’s this about suffering?
Well, read the whole phrase. There’s a fantastic little “so that” in there.
“. . . So that we may also be glorified with Him.”
I’m pretty sure every human on earth knows that suffering is a thing. We know it will happen. Christians, certainly, know it will happen. But suffering here on earth isn’t our final end. Our final end is glorification. That, my friend, changes everything.
For a little extra help here, let’s read verse 18 from Romans 8. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Hear that? Though we as Christians will at times suffer for our faith, whatever we face here on earth cannot compare to the glory we will see when we are together with Christ in eternity.
Paul knows that humans don’t like suffering. He knows it well. He suffered much. But he still had hope and joy because he knew that something so much better was on its way. Something so wonderful that even the thought of it eclipsed the “sufferings of this present time.”
Has someone made you feel inferior on social media? Has someone ignored you on social media? Has someone made you jealous or envious on social media? Has someone called you out for your faith on social media?
Let’s take Paul’s advice here and remember that, no matter what we suffer, we are heirs of God, children chosen to inherit things of more value and worth than anything this world has to offer.
Do you wish you had more social media followers? You get to inherit the kingdom of God.
Do you wish you got more likes? You get to inherit the kingdom of God.
When the pressure of the world stacks up, and you start feeling like you’re failing at social media, or like social media is failing you, consider what you cannot lose. Consider what you have gained in Christ. Consider the kingdom you are headed toward.
How Great a Love
Children of God, remember your Father. Remember that you have value because God chose to love you. The Creator God of the universe, perfect in every way, adopted you.
As John says, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us. Let us contemplate this love a little more every single day.
Let us cry out to God, “Abba, Father!”
Because we can.
This is where our worth comes from.
Thanks again to C.J. for these incredible words today. I hope that you’ve been inspired, encouraged, and edified.
If you have any questions about anything in this discussion, please leave a comment and let me know!
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of the Live Your Love series. We’ll be hearing from talented author, Becky Wade.