It’s Time To Accept that Your Worth is NOT in Your Usefulness

Mallory Smyth
May 30, 2017 · 4 min read

I was in week 10 of my pregnancy and I was wondering if I would ever accomplish something of value again. Only five months earlier, I had hit a stride in which I was accomplishing all that I needed to while being able to care for my one-year-old. Writing was easy; working was easy; exercise was easy; mothering was easy. Oh how things change so fast. I admit that I am a total wuss when it comes to physical ailments but the first trimesters of my pregnancy render me exhausted and able to accomplish only the very essentials.

It was when I started to tell myself that I would never accomplish anything again, that I decided to do some blog reading.


The titles I came across resembled the following:

“If you were doing this habit, you would triple your productivity.”

“The morning routine that will change the how much you can accomplish in your work day.”

My personal favorite “You are only as good as what you do?”

Let me write that again, “YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS WHAT YOU DO”

I am glad we are starting to be more honest.

As I sat there exhausted for a good 10 weeks while my body was busy forming another personal who will live forever, I was faced with the question of my worth. If I am physically unable to wake up every day and just kill it, what does that mean? From where does my worth originate?

As we become “smarter”, “wiser” and more “enlightened” as a culture, progress has become not only our measure of success, but also our measure of value. If a human being is somehow unable to contribute to society in a productive manner or hinders someone else from being able to do so, they are being seen more and more as invaluable. They are then becoming disposable.

We can now legally kill the youngest and oldest among us. These two groups of people cannot yet contribute to society or can no longer contribute to society. Both require deep sacrifice of their care giver. Often this is too much to ask. As persons who would halt progress, their lives have less value than the strong and able. And what of those with significant handicaps?

Is it REALLY what we are able to accomplish that gives us our worth? That seems like an volatile measure, one that turns the able of society into murderers, and the countries into dystopias.

There must be more.

Those many nights on the couch left me to reflect on the dignity placed within in by my creator. Christianity does not claim that our worth is derived from our usefulness but from our creator. The Sistine Chapel does absolutely nothing and yet it is admired by millions every year. It is meant to be looked at. It does not generate income or bring the business of the Vatican to the next level. The Sistine Chapel is a work of art because it was created by Michelangelo. That’s it.

Friends, we have been created by the God of the universe. He created creativity itself. He created progress and He created humanity as His ultimate master piece. We are a bunch of little Sistine Chapels who have inherent worth not because of what we do but because of who we are and who we come from.

Our attributes that set us apart from the animals are literally reflections of the nature and character of God. This is dignity, no matter our degree of usefulness.

What I am not saying is that we should not accomplish or contribute. We should work and create to the very best of our abilities out of the joy and knowledge of our dignity but our worth should precede our usefulness, not the other way around.

This year, Iceland boasted that it has “eradicated” down’s syndrome. Doctors in Iceland did not cure the illness but instead, they eradicated the babies who would be born with such a “defect”. Western Europe and the United States are not far behind. It breaks my heart to think that if I have a down syndrome child in the future, they would have very few friends like themselves.

France released this video a few years ago.

It seems that of everyone, our brother and sisters with Down’s Syndrome understand human worthy better than the rest of us. Why would we want to rid ourselves of such people?

If we define our worthby the truth that it is God given, our individual character and virtue is forced to rise in service of the other no matter the magnitude of their needs. We then become a people who individually will fight for one another despite the government. If we falsely define worthy according to usefulness, I am afraid that the future will not “progress” very far at all.

Friend, look in the mirror, see your worth as one created by a master. Treat yourself and others that way. It is worth it.

Mallory Smyth

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I'm never far from a bag (full of stuff), a book, a bible (also a book), a big smile, a banging cup of coffee and a beautiful friendship.