Thursday, May 14, 2015
Moses, me, and self worth
This led to all kinds of thoughts....
Will Shawn block me at church? Carry a big shield to hold up when I walk close to them?
Am I too snarky? How many other people think that?
Should I stop posting about THAT, or still post it?
Should I just quit Facebook?
I thought Shawn liked me. Guess they don't.
Guess it is true what I always thought.... no one likes me.
Seems like weird and immature thinking for a guy my age, but when you have spent your whole life struggling to find self worth and self esteem, it doesn't take much to rock the boat, especially when you throw depression and feelings of failure into the mix.
I know people who are so self-assured and self confident. People who seem to have great self esteem and self worth...... but how does one get that, especially when you have a lifetime of feeling the opposite?
Flash back to Moses. God had just told him to go before Pharaoh and tell him to let God's people go. Moses was afraid and started listing the reasons he wasn't qualified. I admit I have thought unkindly of Moses when I have read that passage in the Bible. Here God Himself is asking him to do something, and he brings up reasons why he can't. Reasons why he is unfit for the job. Five times, Moses tries to talk God out of sending Him and gives God reasons why he isn't the man for the job.
And yet, I have spent my whole life telling God the same thing. Telling Him how dumb I am, how unskilled, how I can never do anything worthwhile......... and the list goes on. I really have no business criticizing Moses. I am in the same boat as him. Or basket.
I was chatting with a good friend of mine, and after telling me I was immature for saying Shawn didn't like me because Shawn blocked me, he imparted some pearls of wisdom. He pointed out I can't base my self-worth on Shawn, or anyone else. And he is right.
We Americans base our self-worth on the wrong things. Someone pointed out a while back that when meeting new people, one of the first questions asked - especially among men - what do you do for work? More often than not, that is how it goes. But we are so much more than our job. Our job should not define who we are, or define our self-worth.
The amount of Facebook friends does not define our self-worth. The amount of people who like us or dislike us does not define our self-worth.
What I have been trying to grasp for way too long, is I am valuable because God created me and loved me. Period. Or exclamation point, if you prefer. And He sent His only Son to die for me. Had I been the only person alive, Jesus still would have died for me. As someone said, if God had a refrigerator, my picture would be on it. Interesting thought, but it is true. A lot of people put pictures of those they love on their refrigerators, so why would God be any different.... if He had one.
I look in the mirror and see failure. I weigh too much, I am about to turn 46 and feel I have accomplished nothing. I am at a job I like, but doesn't pay enough and I find myself wondering if I can ever stand on my own two feet again. If I made a list of what I liked and disliked about myself, the dislike list would be much longer. If I made a list of the things I am good at, I would not be able to come up with much.
Yet God loves me. He delights in me. He doesn't care that I need to lose weight, that I don't know a fullback from a quarterback in football, that I prefer reading to even thinking about a sport. My self-worth does not depend on my job, my looks, or any person. My self-worth is in Jesus, who loves me because He is love. He considered me worth dying for, and that should be enough.
We are all here for a short time. I will turn 46 on May 26, and I can't believe it. I wonder where the years have gone. I have a lot of regrets, and have wasted so much time worrying what people think of me. Trying to be what others want me to be, act how others want me to act, post things on Facebook that will make people happy with me and get a bunch of "likes"..... but it is all vanity, as the writer of Ecclesiastes said. It is nothing.
People change, and I have too many people in my life to make all of them happy with me. It is impossible. The same posts that Shawn didn't like? I have a friend who deals with the same issue, and he has messaged me many times to thank me for posting an article and that it encouraged him and he appreciated me posting it. So which is more important? Shawn, who doesn't like the posts for some reason, or my friend who is encouraged by the same posts? And though I have never met this friend, he has been more of a friend to me than Shawn has ever been, who I attend church with. It is a bigger deal to me that my posts have encouraged my friend, than that they caused Shawn to block me. In the grand scheme of things, it is a great thing to encourage.
There are people who encourage me and make me feel special and loved. And I hope I do that to people in my life, but even those we love and who love us cannot give us self-worth. As much as I love kind words, compliments, birthday gifts (hint, hint!), spending time with family and friends......they can help with self-worth, but they cannot be the basis of self-worth. If all of my family and friends turned against me and hated me, I'd still be worth what I am now. Priceless to God, and worth dying for.
The words of a song come to mind, based on some words Jesus said:
Consider the lilies they don’t toil nor spin
And there’s not a king with more splendor than them
Consider the sparrow they don’t plant or sow
But they’re fed by the Master who watches them grow
We have a Heavenly Father above
With eyes filled with mercy
And a heart filled with love
He really cares when Your head is bowed low
Consider the lilies and then you will know
May I introduce you to this friend of mine
Who hangs out the stars
and tells the sun when to shine
And kisses the flowers each morning with dew
But He’s not too busy to care about you.
If God cares about a bird that we consider worthless, and takes the time to clothe a meadow with beautiful lilies, how much more of worth does He consider me?
He loves me and considers me of great worth no matter what I do, no matter how I look, no matter where I work, no matter how much money I make......it shouldn't matter to any of us what others think of us. When we stand before God at the judgement, it won't matter then. It will only matter where we stand with God and what He thinks of us on that day. Maybe we all need to get in practice for the day and start living our days here the same: Living to please God and only God, seeing ourselves full of worth, the way He sees us. The way He sees me.
Moses came out on top and is one of the heroes of the faith. Songs have been written about him, movies have been made about him, and sermons preached about him. He didn't think he was the right man for the job, but God saw what he could be in His hand...... a powerful force to lead His people out of slavery and bondage. It took a kick in the pants and the help of his brother, but he stepped up to the plate and got the job done. And we remember him for the good. We don't mention his arguing with God as often.
Moses was wrong to doubt God could use him, and to tell God what he could and could not do... and I have been wrong to tell God what is wrong with me, what I can't do, how I will never be able to do this or that, and that I am nothing. God used Moses in mighty ways, and who knows how He could have used me - could still use me - if I got my opinions about myself, what I am worth, and what I can do out of the way and believed I am beyond worth?
God made me, sent His Son to die for me, and that makes me priceless. It matters not what people think of me. Their opinion does not change my worth, it does not make me less of a man or more of a man, less of a Christian or more of a Christian. God, and God alone is where my self-worth lies.