Significance. Worth. Value. Purpose.
What if we believed in these words? I mean, truly believed in the power behind them.
Sure, we believe in these words, as they relate to others.
We believe that people have significance, we believe that people have worth and value.
We probably even believe that people have purpose.
No doubt we attribute some of these characteristics to certain professions –
doctors, nurses, educators, pastors, leaders, and others.
What about ourselves, though?
Do we really believe these things about ourselves?
If I’m being honest, I know I don’t always believe these words about myself.
What if we did believe these words about ourselves?
What if we believed we were as deserving of these words as anyone else may be?
What if we truly believed that we have
What would our lives look like?
I have had several kinds of conversations recently that got me thinking about these things. The first kind of conversation is the one where you sit with a friend and as you talk you express, to them, the value that they bring to your life. You talk about the qualities they have that make your own life more worthwhile – maybe their sincerity or their loyalty, perhaps even their humor. You spend time thanking your friend for this role they have in your life.
And then it happens.
Your friend says they don’t believe you;
they don’t really see that they offer those qualities in the friendship.
Now at this point, several things run through my mind, in no particular order.
First – Would I sit here and say these things to my friend if they weren’t true? Would I offer this as my perspective just for the fun of it?
Second – I believe in my friend; why doesn’t my friend believe in their own potential that they’re already making use of in the world?
Third – How can I make these statements to my friends in a manner that would cause an impact in their lives?
Fourth – What if my friends truly believed these things about themselves?
The second type of conversation that I’ve had recently, that has me thinking about our significance, worth, value, and purpose has also been with friends. A friend and I might be in conversation, and they begin to express their gratitude for qualities I bring to their life, as a friend. I sit there and listen to what the person says, and then it happens.
I look at them and say something like,
“But am I really making a difference in your life?”
I don’t really see that I’m offering those qualities in the friendship.
Or maybe we discuss the things we do – as moms, as women, as leaders, as mentors, as friends, but we fail to grasp the impact that we have in doing these things.
One of my favorite movies is It’s a Wonderful Life.
The main character, George Bailey, gets an opportunity to view life, as he knew it,
but with one twist: he’s never been born.
The people he knows, the town he lives in, all of life as he knows it – continues to go on.
But he sees how vastly different it all is because he is not there.
While he feels frustrated in what his life has become,
through choices he made in tough situations –
he’s a small-town building & loans official
who can barely stay in business thanks to the major bank in town –
he sees that his life has impacted many, just because he was there.
What did he do that was so impacting in their lives? Really, not much. He went to work, he was a family man, he was a friend to many. He offered who he was – the traits and characteristics that made him who he was – to those with whom he came in contact.
And it made a lasting impact,
to the point where life was vastly different when he was not in it.
So what holds us back from viewing the lasting impact that we can make on others? What prevents us from finding the value, worth and purpose in the opportunities we have, whether it’s our family, our job, our ministries, or even (for me) our writing?
The answer is shockingly simple. So simple that, surely, there must be more.
The enemy does not want us believing that we can do any good, or have any significance, or be of any worth or value to someone.
That’s it. Right there.
That is the reason we don’t believe that we are significant, or of worth. That is the reason that we don’t believe that we have purpose, or that the tasks we’ve been called to have any value.
The enemy wants to block us from that because he knows that if he can block us from believing in our own significance here on Earth, then our lives won’t impact others as they were designed to.
God put us here, in this day, for a purpose!
He could have formed us and placed us at any spot in history. He could have put us in the early church, or in the generation prior to cars being invented. He could have placed us in the middle of the deserts of Africa if that was His plan. We may have grown up in war-torn lands, or in highly influential families if that was where He could use us.
But we are here – you living your life, and me living mine – as we are, in the capacities that we are (wife, mother, leader, writer, for me), for a reason.
If we believe God to be Who He says He is, then we have to believe that His plan for our lives is just that – HIS plan. He authors eternity – do you (do I) really think it’s a mistake that we’re here now?
NO! By NO means! God has a purpose, a plan for us today.
The question becomes –
If we believe God, can we trust His plan for our lives?
God is all-powerful. He created the world. He created us in the world. He placed us here, now.
That, right there, gives us an overflowing measure of significance, worth, value, and purpose.
When I sit here and wonder if these words are resonating with anyone, I have to check myself. See, God didn’t call me to write for you, or even to you. God called me to write what He puts on my heart. For Him. Maybe this is my act of worship, maybe this is the way that He knows He has a hold of my heart. Maybe my heart works to serve Him in this way. I don’t fully know.
But I do know that there is nothing else that grabs hold of my heart like writing does. There is nothing else that I labor over so vigilantly. This stuff here, it keeps me up at nights. I often lie in the darkness with something on my heart, only to realize that sleep isn’t coming until I’ve put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.
I love these words from the book of Esther, when Mordecai persuades Esther to appear before the king –
When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
I think that if we grasp our significance here, with a strong head-knowledge, it can make a difference in our lives.
But if we grasp our significance here,
with a strong heart-knowledge, we just may change the world.
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