Who here doesn’t care to be valuable to someone or to some cause? This is a boat we are all sailing along in together, because no matter where we come from in life, we want our life to mean something! We want others to talk positive about us behind our backs; to hand out compliments when we do something that goes above and beyond what would be typically expected of us. Sometimes we even want others to envy us and the things we have; to wish they were us, because let’s face it, isn’t this the utopia of human value?
Still Feeling Empty
The real conundrum here is that no matter how many pats on the back and “attaboys” we receive, it’s honestly just never enough. When a husband comes home and says to his wife, “Wow honey, the house looks nice!”, it feels good in the moment, but the house is messy again, and in just a short while the whole process starts over, and the wife feels unappreciated. How about when the husband spends all day out in the yard making it look like a million dollars. It feels so good to have the neighbor give that envious look and say, “I see you’ve been busy”. But sure enough, the grass grows again and the weeds return, making your yard look like the house down the street that never cares enough to keep anything up. This is life! For most of us, we are always looking for more compliments; just one more way to prove to ourselves and to others that we are, in fact, valuable.
Looking in The Right Places
The truth is that we are searching in the wrong places. First of all, you and I know that when we only do something to receive a compliment from someone, it’s short lived. The reason for this is…”It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35 NIV). When we give only to receive, we are being selfish; but when we give because we love those around us and we desire to make their lives better, then we begin to find the true reward. The same applies to what we do for Christ. Yes, I too am guilty of asking God to make my life into something beautiful for Him, only to be disappointed by what He gives me. In fact, most often times what He gives me seems so insignificant that it feels like He hasn’t given me anything at all! Like, “come on, really, anyone can teach this person a Bible study, and I don’t have the time for that anyway!” What we are really saying is this, “I need something that will bring me the admiration of others. For all my time served, and the amount of donations given, I deserve something big; not something that just anyone can do!” Yes, we all have been here, we all have thought this way. The most tragic part of this scenario is that we ultimately end up giving up on doing anything at all. We resolve to do just what is mandatory of us to make it into heaven. Our thought is, “God must not think I’m very valuable, so why even try to be
any better then this”? The apostle Paul was admonishing the church on this very thing when he said, “In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary “(1 Corinthians 12:22 NLT). Oh how selfish we are! Doesn’t Jesus Himself remind us in Matthew 25:40, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”? The selfish man I’m constantly doing battle with doesn’t want to hear about “the least”, I want to be the most valuable, and be a part of the most desired situation! You can be sure that I’m going to waste most of what little time I do pray, to ask God to put me in the big situations, the ones that ultimately make ME feel valuable! “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6 NIV). Don’t think that just because you feel broken down and unappreciated you are not battling pride.
Words to Live By
Do your work as unto the Lord, and you will begin to realize the value of your life. You will feel it in a hug and a hear it in a “thank you for loving me when it felt no one ever would”. You will begin feel it from your loved ones because you have taken the time to really love them rather than try and win their approval.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT)
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ (Matthew 25:23 NLT)