My True Value
Apr 4, 2017 // By:Dave // 1 comment
Reader, once again I find myself among the ranks of the unemployed. (throwing in a “friend or two” who prefer to withdraw without explanation, and the daily encounter with my own ineptitude at fixing things around the house). Once again, I find myself predictably struggling with my self-worth (my true value) slowly spiraling around and down as a flushing toilet. Why is my self-worth and confidence so fragile that being laid off and unable to find compatible work fast enough would cause me (and others like me) to fall into depression and watch my self-worth take such a quick and serious critical hit ?!
I’ll tell you why !
I decided this morning that I had HAD quite enough of this roller coaster ride of letting my value be determined by unpredictable world events and circumstances. I looked in the mirror and asked “who are you?” My answer came back:
- worship leader
- musician & singer
- graphic designer
- wearer of plaid shirts
I noticed a pattern in the answers … these are definitions of either my relational positions or behaviors and activities. If I make an exception of 1, all the others could be removed from my life in the blink of an eye! Of course the begging question is “If these things were removed, would I not still be still standing in front of the mirror and able to ask the same question?” The rhetorical answer is a resounding “YES!”
Observation: If these things can in fact be removed and I REMAIN, then these things must not be my real identity. This means that my real identity is something else. Makes sense, right?! This is called deductive reasoning (remove the things you know about to force yourself to examine that which you did not currently know about). If this theory regarding a false definition of who I am is correct, then I have placed my self-worth on a very poor foundation and need only wait a short time for something to strike such a poor foundation and see everything above it fall down.
Jesus spoke about the concept of having an unstable foundation for things and the consequences that result.
Matthew 7:24-27 He speaks of a house built on sand that cannot withstand a storm and is destroyed, while another house that had been built on solid rock foundation withstood the storm.
Luke 6:46-49 shows the same parable with some different details. in Luke,
Verse 46: we see Jesus asking “Why do you call me Lord, and do not do what I say?”
Verse 48: reveals that the man dug deep to get to the rock foundation before building the house (perhaps he had to dig through the same sand that the other man did not want to take the time to dig down through ?)
So there is a choice before each person who would build their house:
- take the time to dig down to get to a solid and dependable foundation, then build
- take the shortcut, do not dig and just build upon shifting sand
We try to teach our kids this idea of taking the time and effort to do things right all the time. Remember the 3 Little Pigs? (only the one with the brick house withstood the wolf’s attack while the houses straw and sticks did not)
I don’t even have “work” this metaphor at all since the application jumps out at me!
What is the purpose of a house ? Shelter! (protection from everything outside, right?)
If I am building my self-worth upon the shifting sands of circumstances, definitions of things I can or cannot do, employment, etc … the house is gonna keep coming down no matter how well I keep nailing the boards together.
My shelter against everything in the world that would tear me down cannot be founded on circumstances or anything that could shift or be taken away from me.
I need to be like the other man in the parable who dug down to the rock and built his shelter upon a rock that would not shift or be taken away. I need to build on something more powerful that the storms coming in order for my shelter to have any value at all !
What or who could be such a rock?
Daniel 2:34-35, Isaiah 8:14, Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22, Matthew 21:42-44, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Romans 9:33, Acts 4:11, 1 Corinthians 10:4, 1 Peter 2:4, 1 Peter 2:6-8.
Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, is the rock foundation. (here is list of 150 names given to our Lord in scripture)
If I let these names “soak into my head”; if I “dig down” into my bible, understand what these names really mean, then let His Word “dig down into my heart” 12 Cor 10:3-5, I begin to see the rock foundation I can build my house upon and He begins to build it for me. Roman 12:1-2.
A new identity begins to surface from behind the old one. A level and firm foundation becomes the material upon which a level and firm house is built. There are names I have been given in scripture which only exist and apply for me if I am in Him. Who I am takes on a new an useful meaning. Here is a list of names for believers. These definitions of my identity and worth are dependent upon the eternal Father who does not change and has power over all. Here is a definition of who I am that is worth clinging onto and repeating back to myself in the mirror.
Refuse to see your self in the mirror of the world (built on sand, changing from day to day), but rather, allow Jesus to show you who you really are through His love, through Himself.
John 14:6 says “He is the way, truth and Life…” (the word for way does not mean an access point or doorway, it does mean a path or journey). I pray that each name God has given you will be a stepping stone in your journey to drawing closer to a Father who loves us more than we may ever really understand.
εν διακονια τω θεω, Dave Cadieux