Football player Fernando Torres recently transferred from Liverpool to Chelsea for a UK-record sum of £50m. So how much are you worth, Graeme Tremaine asked recently.

Your perception of your own worth is important. Jesus knows we can be hard on ourselves, leading to low self esteem. We can stress about not doing enough for our Lord, leaving no room to feel joy in our faith. Our potential is cut and our happiness hindered.

Sometimes this stems from confusing worthiness with worth. Jesus said that even after all we do, we are still unprofitable servants, who have only done our duty. That was to guard against self-righteous works. It was not saying we had no worth.

And in Philippians 2 we are exhorted to esteem others better than ourselves. Here again the emphasis is on the motivation, not that we should have no or low self-esteem. The passage isn’t about our own self-perception, but about how we position ourselves relative to others. As 1 Peter says, pursue humility towards each other, because God opposes the proud, so humble yourself, so God lifts you up in due time.

On God’s scale we can never be worthy, we are always lightweight. But just because we are not worthy, it does not mean we are of no worth – to God or fellow men. Love your neighbours and yourself, Jesus urged. If you don’t love yourself, your love for your neighbour will be of little use.

Hebrews 11 lists many who are counted as holy and who Jesus is not ashamed to call brothers, despite their errors. We too may be ashamed of what we have done. But we need not be ashamed that Jesus calls us brothers and sisters. We have great value in his sight. In the same way, God is not ashamed to be called their God, and our God.

Indeed, we are a living temple in which God is prepared to dwell by his spirit. In Romans 8:28 Paul writes to those who are called according to His purpose… predestined…. justified… glorified. So, we can build ourselves up in this knowledge that God foresaw us and our potential. He values that enough to want us in His Kingdom, as chosen servants, destined for Glory. We should accept God’s valuation of us and be inspired. We should not try to tell Him he is wrong.

The disciples argued about who should be first (Mark 9). So Jesus had to show them that anyone who would be first had to be the very last and servant of all. And now we understand.

As Paul told the Philippians, they (and we) should have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God…. made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant…… and humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! So God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow….

As we share bread and wine we think of Jesus’s powerful and triumphant return from servant-hood to glory. And in sharing the emblems we say we are part of his family, valued, called, foreknown and loved. And we give thanks from the bottom of our hearts.