My worth is not in what I ownNot in the strength of flesh and boneBut in the costly wounds of loveAt the crossMy worth is not in skill or nameIn win or lose, in pride or shameBut in the blood of Christ that flowed At the crossRefrain: I rejoice in my RedeemerGreatest Treasure, Wellspring of my soulI will trust in Him, no other. My soul is satisfied in Him alone. As summer flowers we fade and dieFame, youth and beauty hurry byBut life eternal calls to us At the cross I will not boast in wealth or mightOr human wisdom’s fleeting lightBut I will boast in knowing ChristAt the crossRefrainTwo wonders here that I confessMy worth and my unworthinessMy value fixed - my ransom paidAt the crossRefrain
Lyricists are always on the lookout for a big idea, a concept or phrase that might just have a song hidden inside it. Like the sculptor running their fingers over a rough block of marble and laying out their tools, or a potter feeling the weight and texture of a fresh lump of wet clay, the imagination has to see something that doesn’t yet exist. Some years ago I was struck by the simple phrase ‘My worth is not in what I own’ and sensed a ‘big idea’ in waiting. It is a theme I have explored before in songs, in fact one of my earliest performance songs is called ‘How much do you think you are worth’, but here it came again and I saw a congregational song in potential. I made several attempts over several years to let loose that big idea, but during a writing session with Keith and Kristyn Getty I bounced my seed idea off them and the process began. The song went through numerous drafts and redrafts, but eventually it settled. From the first occasion it was sung it was clear that the theme resonated powerfully as people began to join in. We know that our culture calibrates human worth by measures of wealth and status, skills and achievement, beauty and youth, power and so on, but we don’t always appreciate how deeply those values are ingrained into us and how effective they are in driving our behaviour. Christians are little different. We need to sing about our worth from God’s perspective, not ours or our cultures, and God’s perspective centres in on the cross. John Stott wrote; ‘Our self is a complex entity of good and evil, glory and shame, of creation and fall…we are created, fallen and redeemed, then re-created in God’s image’ ….. ‘Standing before the cross we see simultaneously our worth and unworthiness, since we perceive both the greatness of his love in dying, and the greatness of our sin in causing him to die’ [The Cross p. 285] William Temple wrote: ‘My worth is what I am worth to God, and that is a marvellous great deal, for Christ died for me’ It has been a pleasure working together with the Gettys to bring this song from concept to reality and we hope that it will help many to sing themselves free from all that steals away the joy of being loved by God.