I’ve written about personal value over the last week as part of a devotional book I am working on and I must say, everything I write or speak about challenges me in some way. How I value my life, my contribution, and my calling has come into question in recent days. And the simple fact that there are voices telling me what I am NOT worth and what I CAN’T do are proof enough that what God has called me to do, along with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over my life, carry very great value. But let me explain.
In my childhood, growing up a girl in the Southern Baptist denomination, I was taught to be submissive. Not just Jesus-submissive, but man-submissive. I was not to lead, I was to be polite, I was to have the dinner on the table when a husband was ready, and I was to meet his physical needs. Mine weren’t mentioned. I could serve in the choir or teach Sunday School, but not use my voice in great leadership roles. What I saw modeled by my family and church women in the south supposedly displayed what God expected of me. I grew up to marry a very wounded man who later chose alcohol to numb his pain and used a lot of verbal and mental abuse to numb me. I’ve described the years as a chipping away of who I was, an experience that hollowed me out inside. My voice was never given any real validity, and my gifts were defined in a way that nicely placed them in a box that wouldn’t offend anyone. I still catch myself trying to please others at times. Can you identify with my experience?
With this writing on value – defining how God values each of us – my thoughts and motives are always laid open, and honestly, I thought I was further along in my restoration. I’m not saying that I hadn’t grown, matured, and become stronger. I have. But God goes after those thin layers, those splinters of untruth left inside us, to remove them. It’s when our lives get turned upside down that stuff inside gets shaken and falls out, sometimes surprising us about what is still left inside. While the pain of splinter removal isn’t something I look forward to, God wants me to know my real value for then I will know more of His love for me.
God is a complete and perfect Father – one who doesn’t stop gently working with us to heal, restore, and build up. Our complete identity, value, and purpose is found in Him, not in any worldly, cultural, or denominational definition. The truth? I am who my Father says I am – in every way, in every place, and around any person. I am equal in value to every other person on the planet.
I was talking with a friend earlier today and because of my own recent study of personal value, I suggested that she had elevated someone else over herself. I asked her if God wanted her to do that. She replied, “No, I don’t need another god! I’ve got the one true God and this is the vision He has given to me!” She then went on to bless me in what I’ve been called to do and spoke value over my life. It was a double blessing!
We are each completely unique, immeasurably valued, and intentionally purposed by our Heavenly Father. That tells me that we each have a value that has a head-on collision with the value assigned to us by others or the world. For some of us, that means taking our ego down a notch or two, and for most of us, that means coming up in our valuation by learning to see ourselves through the Father’s eyes. And that is the title of my book, “Through the Father’s Eyes”.
And our value? It’s not just defined by what we DO, but by who we ARE. We are first children of God, created on purpose by Him. No one is an accident, every life known by Him before we are born, and every single breath seen before we inhale our first. From our eye color to our shoe size to the ever-changing number of hairs on our heads, all is not only known, but chosen. Chosen by a loving Father who assigns great value to us simply because we are His. That is where abundant life begins – when we experience our Father in and with us as His child, and the more truth He writes on our hearts, the less we listen to the negative voices sent to diminish us.
I don’t have all the truth written on the inside of me quite yet, but I know God will be faithful to fill me with the truth of who I am. He does the same for you. So for now, let’s respond to His voice, agree together, and say right out loud – “I AM WHO MY FATHER SAYS I AM!” And “I WILL VALUE DEEPLY THE UNIQUE WONDER, ABILITY, AND PURPOSE THAT I BRING TO THE WORLD!”
We matter. A lot.
There’s loads of grace for the journey,
From the desk by the window where the flood waters are receding and the sun might just be out of the clouds tomorrow.
Have you thought about your own growth? Do you want more of that abundant life stuff? I know I do, and I can help set your feet on the path. Send me an email and ask about spiritual life coaching, or book me to speak at your next event. I’d be very honored to join you on your journey! This is who I am and what I do and yes, it has great value. Let’s find yours together.
(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, October 5, 2015