Valuable (ebook)

Valuable ebook

Why Your Worth Is Not Defined by How Useful You Feel

By Liz Carter, foreword by Paul Mallard
from 3 reviews

Come and see that our purpose as Christians is not about being useful but about being known by God and enjoying him.

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Available from June 1, 2023
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We all want to be useful to God, but often we feel that we're not, or, because of illness or other difficulties, that we can't be as active as we'd like to be. Liz Carter wants to rescue us from the spiral of feeling useless that we get caught in, and to show us that being useful isn't what Christianity is about. In fact, the Bible barely talks about God using people at all.

Weaving together insightful scriptural analysis and beautifully told stories, Liz takes us on a journey to see what the Bible really says about weakness, identity, and God's purposes for us: helping us to see ourselves and our relationship with God in an entirely different and much more glorious way. Readers will discover that our purpose as Christians is not about being useful but about being known by God and enjoying him.

This book is particularly helpful for those struggling with long-term physical or mental illness, but it's also a great encouragement to Christians who feel that they are not good enough or useful enough to God for other reasons.

Questions at the end of each chapter make this a helpful resource to read with a friend or in groups.

Product details


  • Introduction
    1. We Are the Useless
    2. Into the Upside-Down
    3. God Is Not a User
    4. A Church for Broken People
    5. A New Kind of Wholeness
    6. A New Hope Story
    7. Into an Upside-Down Identity
    8. Liberated into Utmost You
    Scripture Reflections


Contributors Liz Carter, Paul Mallard
ISBN 9781784988890
Format eBook
First published June 2023
Case quantity 50
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company

Sarah Walton

Author, Hope When It Hurts

Liz Carter offers a fresh and needed voice. To the one who feels useless, the pages of this book will remind you of where your true worth is found. To the one who’s exhausted from striving, these pages will free you from the tyranny of ‘being enough,’ all while growing in you a greater awareness and compassion for the least of these. A book I definitely needed to read!

Eric Schumacher

Co-author, Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women

Carefully applying Scripture and peppering her writing with personal illustration, Liz Carter challenges the church to reconsider its preoccupation with ‘usefulness’ and helps us grasp our value in the light of God's transforming love in Christ. Valuable is paradigm-shifting—a challenging and freeing approach to our relationship with God.

Sam Hailes

Editor, Premier Christianity magazine

I’ve used the phrase ‘used by God’ many times, never stopping to interrogate the meaning or connotations. But Valuable has changed that. It exposes Christian culture’s misplaced obsession with usefulness. Utterly convincing in its arguments, it presents an infinitely more wholesome vision of what God has created us to be. As Carter puts it: ‘We are recipients of God’s love, and that love comes through receiving, not through what we do’. What liberating truth!

Customer reviews


“Brief, Encouraging, Helpful”

(Review written for 'Valuable')

This book is encouraging and practical. I think it would help anyone struggling with feeling “useful”, someone looking to come alongside a weary friend, a pastor, or someone simply seeking to understand what being “used for God” means. Thankful for this book!


“"You are a mirror of God’s glory, not an object of God’s use."”

(Review written for 'Valuable')

"Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that the desire of God’s heart is to get his children to do things for him. God’s heart is for intimacy and transformation."
"You are a mirror of God’s glory, not an object of God’s use."

I distinctly remember a day at church, years ago now, when I overheard someone comment, "We could all be doing more."

At the time, I was working more hours than I ever had before, and one of my jobs was as a secretary for that church. I was teaching a children's Bible class. I was participating in National Novel Writing Month on top of my normal life. I was exhausted and overwhelmed, and I couldn't imagine how much more I could be doing, of anything. Was being exhausted and overwhelmed not enough? What more did they want?

I have no doubt this comment was well-intentioned, but I think this moment demonstrates the problem Liz addresses in Valuable, the assumption that doing is what makes us successful - even acceptable - Christians, and that there's no line where we can say, I am now doing enough.

Liz helpfully demonstrates that usefulness is not the point of the Christian life. She doesn't tell her readers to stop doing things, but challenges their motivations and language, and offers reassurance that God does not define their worth by their usefulness but by how much he loves them, and that we are not designed to do enough and should not expect that of ourselves.

My favorite parts were her discussion of why saying God uses people is harmful and the chapter offering alternative ways to speak about our relationship with him.

Liz writes from the perspective of someone living with chronic illness, and I think this book will be helpful to others in similar situations, but its wisdom is relevant to people not dealing with chronic illness as well.

I received a free ebook as part of the launch team. No review was required. Thank you Liz and The Good Book Company!


“From the first page of this valuable book I felt known.”

(Review written for 'Valuable')

From the first page of this valuable book I felt known. Known for never feeling good enough, for feeling useless, especially since becoming ill and disabled, even though I know God doesn't see me that way. Achievement has always been central to my sense of self and yet my real value is in being simply me. God loves me as me, I am valuable. So are you.

"Valuable" takes us on a journey of discovery through stories and Bible passages, poetry and prayers as Liz explores the lie of usefulness, the value Jesus placed on the poor and needy, the love of God for us all and the innate value of each of us as we are, not for what we do.

This prayer in particular has stayed with me
"Father, when I stumble under the weight of my struggles,
Set me free to find you there with them—
Not outside, using them,
Or using me.
When I cannot understand your silence,
Sit with me there
And hold me.
Thank you that you work everything to the good,
That you are with me in the painful times,
That you speak to others through my difficulties.
Thank you that you collect up my tears,
You write them in your book,
You roar in the waves with me.

If you have ever felt like you aren't good enough for God or that you haven't achieved enough in life, then I recommend this book to you. Chapter by chapter the truth of God's unconditional love will become clearer, helping you tear down the barriers of society's expectations, helping you know that YOU ARE VALUABLE.

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Valuable (ebook) | Liz Carter, Paul Mallard | $8.99