A central tenet of christian doctrine is the belief that we are intrinsically bad/evil and that only through Jesus can any sense of self worth be attained.
This is strengthened by persistent teachings that say things like "all of Him, none of me", "I can do nothing without Jesus", "I'm just a worthless sinner saved by grace" and countless other expression all based on various interpretation of scripture.
Self worth however, is exactly that - the worth of our "selves". What is our core identity (our essence/spirit/heart - all that we are) actually worth?
Is it doomed, from the moment of our conception, to be thwarted in every attempt at living loved, with honesty and compassion, to be a source of light and love to all around us?
Is our self worth a thing to be despised and utterly rejected, to be replaced in some magical way by the "worthiness" of another, which alone will make us acceptable to our God?
I know there are many doctrines that explain the indwelling of Christ and how he makes us one with him as our spirits are remade in his likeness etc. There are thousands of books written and sermons preached on this.
But all avoid the most fundamental issue - that however we hide it in nice and loving sounding doctrines - our deepest self, the "me" that we were created with that makes up all that we are - is worthless crap until Jesus takes over our hearts and makes us like him.
In a way, this works. Simply because if we accept that we are totally corrupted and screwed up, as is evident by the way we think and live, then believing that a "perfect being" can live inside us and solve this problem by us sacrificing every thought and desire we have to that being, then yeah, we will change, especially as we believe that being is loving and gracious and only wants the best for us.
But at a deeper level this is the ultimate abuse of humanity. It destroys our hearts and souls in a way that is so subtle that we actually think its healthy.
What if the real problem is simply that our own self worth is damaged by the lies we are taught from birth?
What if the examples of constant lovelessness as we grow reinforce the idea that we are so flawed that our only hope is by abandoning the little we have and allowing another being to live vicariously through us?
But what if the flame of our self worth were to be encouraged, brought to life and allowed to be everything it was created to be, simply for its own value?
What if we actually believed that we are beautiful, lovingly made, infinitely valuable, just because we are human? Imagine billions of people honouring each other's unique worth, respecting each other out of their own unique self-worth, living from a place of perfect and complete self love - a love that can do nothing other than embrace the love that we are all made of.
What if the religion we try to use to feel worth something, is doing the exact opposite and is slowly and thoroughly killing us off as individuals and as a species?
Yes, I know many people have been "saved" from lives of misery and abuse through christianity. But what if its nothing more than a cover up - a poor substitute for real life and living powerfully and wholly ourselves, full of love and life?
Personally, I've found this to be the case. By accepting who I am at the core of my being and allowing myself to unconditionally love that "me", I have become more loving, more patient, more compassionate, more filled with peace and joy, and far more capable of giving love to others than any amount of self-sacrifice to Christ could ever bring. Pride and arrogance fall away, rather than grow - the exact opposite of what Christianity told me would happen!