The Old Testament uses the term “worthless men” several times to identify vain and idolatrous individuals. They were essentially meaningless, which is about the worst description that I could think of for a human being.
Weakness goes hand in hand with worthlessness. And even though you don’t find “worthless” in the New Testament, the idea still exists. Preachers preach about strength. They have to, not only because it’s commanded, but also because the worth of a child of God is directly tied to strength.
There’s several ways that a Christian can become weak and worthless, both to God and to His saints. Do one of these four apply to you? Into
First, you can become weak and worthless because of sin. Sin doesn’t build up. Sin doesn’t encourage. Sin destroys. Because it destroys, every Christian who succumbs to it without repentance becomes worthless. Demas was once a good fellow worker (Colossians 4:14), but he walked away from the faith because he loved the world too much (2 Timothy 4:10).
Second, you can become weak and worthless because of neglect. God wants us to grow because if we don’t we’ll decline into nonexistence — worthlessness. There’s been so many times when I’ve needed help in my congregation and would’ve loved to have asked certain people, but they’re too weak to be of any value. They’re effectively worthless to the cause of Jesus.
Third, you can become weak and worthless because of discouragement. So many people in the Bible were discouraged and it severely jeopardized their effectiveness for Jesus, but they found solace in the Lord, and were strengthened by Him (1 Samuel 30:6). Use the fact that He cares for you to ease your discouraged heart (Matthew 6:33-34; 1 Peter 5:7).
Fourth, you can become weak and worthless because of false doctrine. If truth sets you free (John 8:32), then what does false doctrine do? It enslaves and makes you worthless. Jeremiah 23:16 says, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the Lord’”. Don’t become a liability to God because you’ve believed something erroneous (cp. 2 Thessalonians 2:10).
Revelation 3:15-16 is a classic passage about weakness and worthlessness. The Laodiceans were told, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth”. The kingdom needs people of strength and character. The kingdom needs people who’ll live out their beliefs. The kingdom needs people who are unaffected by the world. Only then can they grow and achieve their worthiness to God and the church.