Two songs that have been successful lately are “Who Says” by Selena Gomez and “Perfect” (as the song’s radio name) by P!nk. Ironically, both address perfection as it correlates to self-worth in one way or another.
A struggle that every individual goes through at one point or another is the idea of attaining perfection. Having the perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect personality. You name it. In one area or another we desire perfection.
The word perfect is interesting, not necessarily because of its magnitude but because of how abstract it may be. What would someone who is perfect look like? How would he act? As mere humans, we often confuse perfection with self-worth. One we can understand and reasonably attain, the other we await to see.
In the chorus of “Who Says” Gomez sings “Who says? Who says you’re not perfect? Who says you’re not worth it?”, inferring that whomever says you’re not perfect is wrong because you are just being “you”. Likewise P!nk sings in her song’s chorus that you should never feel “less than perfect” because “you are perfect, to me.”
Both songs give listeners a sense of value, not because a celebrity is singing about caring for us indirectly but because a sound of truth is spoken in the lyrics. But what happens when the songs are over and the euphoria from them passes, and we look at our lives and see how far we are from perfect?
We are not perfect, yet we are not worthless. However, our worth is not from ourselves.
Can a penny tell another penny that it is worth a cent? Its worth is valued by something outside itself -- humanity. We value it as such, and therefore it has value. In the same way, our value does not originate from a self-centered place, but something beyond ourselves. Our flaws are what make us human, but what makes us have value comes from the only One who is perfect.
Right now perfection is not attainable. We are still growing and learning from our past mistakes, but self-worth is what we have constantly, even when we do not feel as if we do. When we mess up or the world seems to be collapsing from a personal action, it is hard to feel extremely valued.
Falsely grabbing perfection causes us to overlook or to cover our flaws. Seeing our self-worth despite our imperfection, helps us to further reach out to the One who is perfect and be comforted in the fact that, He who is perfect sees all my imperfection, yet loves me still. This is the genesis of true self-worth.
The band Tenth Avenue North also has a song out entitled “You Are More”. In the song come the lyrics “You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes…” People desire value and self-worth not to fill a void but because it is a yearning we desperately want filled. Without God, there is no intrinsic value. As author R.C. Sproul puts it, “You cannot begin with no meaning, have meaning in the middle, and end with no meaning.”
Through the work of Christ on the cross we are given an opportunity to have the void filled by God and acknowledged on days of blessing and days of trial that we are valued by God. Practice doesn’t always make perfect. Sometimes practice just brings what we need – assurance. It helps a lot to know you have worth as an individual but its so much better to know that your worth is not conditional.