We want to feel important in some way. We want to know we have made a difference, that our existence has been more than an accident. Once our basic needs for food and shelter are met, we put a large part of our energy into whatever makes us feel worthwhile.
But is all that effort worth it? (No pun intended)
We try to find our worth in so many ways:
- Physical attributes. A young woman (or older woman) maximizes and uses her beauty. A man tests and displays his strength or other physical ability.
- Intellectual ability. Those blessed with certain kinds of intelligence receive a lot of rewards in our Western culture. Degrees and other markers of “smarts” make us feel important.
- Skills and achievements. An artistic or creative skill, a job achievement, a degree of sports prowess – they feed our need for feeling worthwhile.
- Sexual attraction. The ability to attract or conquer a sexual partner, or be seen as sexually desirable, gives a certain sense of importance. For some, the more they attract the better they feel.
- Financial success. Creating wealth, or managing large amounts of money, can feel very powerful and important. We even call it “net worth!”
- Personal popularity or power. Having influence or power over other people, or being able to do things that affect them for good or for ill, can be very seductive. It can make one’s head swell!
Perhaps reading that list helps you see the two or three things you most commonly do to feel important or worthwhile. And I hope it also helps you see how fruitless those endeavors are.
What happens when age robs you of your beauty, strength, or sexual prowess? Or someone does something better, faster, or more dramatically than you? Or the stock market or the economy robs you of your financial stockpile? Or the popular sentiment turns against you? Are you suddenly worth less?
The problem with all these ways of finding your worth is that they depend on OTHER people. Other people’s impression of you, no matter how charitable, is fickle. And it only looks on the outside.
The only accurate way to judge your own – or anyone else’s – worth is to consider how valuable your Creator judges you to be.
And to Him, you are PRICELESS!
Your turn: How do you try to define your own worth? How does that leave you vulnerable? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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