Value.

Have you ever noticed how when you’re closer to God, you literally see the world thru a different lens? It’s one of those things you forget both when haven’t been close to God in a while and when you’ve been faithful for a while. You’re only aware of the lenses in that twilight space.

I am in that twilight space and it’s kind of astounding me.

One of my favorite tv shows is called Community. It’s this quirky tv show that’s occasionally self aware and is constantly talking about other movies and tv shows. It also takes place at a community college that somehow gives out four year degrees… Don’t question it! It’s perfect for someone like me who enjoys consuming media. However, it’s not the cleanest show. In fact, it can be offensive and irreverent, though, always in a clever way.

I started rewatching it this week because it felt like a good ending to college.

In the first scene of the show, main character Jeff is having a conversation with Abed. It ends like this:
Jeff: “Now I see your value, Abed.”
Abed (as Jeff walks out of hearing distance):That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

And it hit me. At our core, that’s what we’re all looking for. We look for it in every interaction and every relationship. We’re secretly, subconsciously waiting for someone, anyone, everyone to say: I see your value. You have value and I have noticed it.

But the thing is others aren’t here to give us value. If they were, we’d be in a sad state. Think about it. You’re more concerned with others affirming you than you are about affirming others. With a few exceptions, everyone else is doing the same thing. We get so wrapped up in our heads that we quit worrying about others.

As a christian, you should seek to find your value affirmed in Jesus, the one who said I value you, you so much I am going to subject myself to torment so that you can avoid it.

Your value is in Christ and nothing else. You are valuable because he loves you and saved you and gives you value.

Your value doesn’t rely on your talents or how smart or how pretty or how strong you are. Your value doesn’t lie in your ability to make friends or your relationship status. Those things are good but they do not give you value. And when we choose to find value in these things, we cheapen Christ’s sacrifice and give away some of our real value.

You have value. It is given to you by Christ. Acknowledge it. Revel in it.

And while I don’t think we should find value from others, maybe we should start acknowledging the value we see in others.

Tell her she is clever. Tell him he is passionate. Point out the good things you see in people. People are often blind to their own strengths and weaknesses, be their mirror. See value in people. See value in everyone.

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Anna: Faithful for 84 years|Women of Faith

Women of Faith: Anna the Faithful

Anna
The story of Anna is found in Luke 2:25-40.

Anna was widowed after only 7 years. It’s bad enough to lose your husband after such a short period of time. It’s worse when you live in a culture where your worth and livelihood all depend on your husband and you earn respect through having children.

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
For your Maker is your husband—
the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:4-5

Anna should be an inspiration to single women, both those who are widowed and those who are unmarried. The Bible says that Anna never left the temple because she was fasting day and night. After she was widowed she completely and wholeheartedly gave herself over to the Lord. Her maker was her husband like listed in Isaiah 54. That blows my mind.

I worry about what would happen if I never get married or don’t get married within the next 5 or so years because I have placed my future into the hands of a guy I either haven’t met yet or just haven’t connected with yet. I have made the future and my future husband an idol.
There are so many problems with this.

  1. Think about what this says to my Creator, the one I have supposedly put my faith and future and my whole life in. It says, “I want one of your creations more than I want you.”

  2. No where in the Bible does it say “And for every girl who loves Jesus there shall be a husband who is at least six inches taller than you with a smoking hot bod who loves Jesus, is athletic and musical, and will be loved by your friends and family alike.” No, this is not promised in the Bible. In fact, in many places, we are essentially promised the opposite. In both the old testament and the new testament, Jesus and God command followers to leave everything they have to follow him. We like to look at the rich young ruler as an example of this but there are good examples of people with follow through too. The 12 disciples. Abraham. Paul. Ruth. This may be material goods or it may be family and it some cases, both. Either way, the message is clear. Following Jesus is about your love and devotion for him. It’s not about a get out of jail free card that also comes with a magic genie.

  3. It takes away from the sovereignty of God. I am inadvertently saying I place my future on the wishes of someone other than God. I probably covered this in points 1 and 2 but seriously this is ludicrous and an insult to God.

  4. Can we talk about the fact that it’s the 21st century? Girls no longer seriously go to college to find a nice doctor or lawyer and get that diamond diploma and mrs degree (Pronounced M R S Degree. Definition: a girl who is in college only to get married). Also, the median age of girls getting married is now 27 and its 29 for guys. So the average of when most girls get married is two years later than the end of the spectrum for when I think I deserve to be, should be married. My perceptions are so skewed. First, I shouldn’t expect to get married at a certain age especially since I am currently unattached. Second, I think I am so entitled when in reality I don’t deserve anything. God doesn’t owe me anything and he certaintly didn’t promise if you become a Christian at age 7 you’ll live happily ever after with the Christian version of prince charming. Oh wait, he kind of did. That’s Jesus Christ and the Church is his princess bride. But do you (meaning me) specifically get your own Prince Charming? No! He. Owes. Me. NOTHING.

Back to Anna, she is a model of what single women should be doing. Looking for a new husband? No. Lamenting and grieving over their misfortune? No. Serving the Lord day and night? Yes! So today as you walk through your day, consider Anna and worship the Lord not his creation. My resolution is to fall in love with Jesus and let the rest fall away.

Read about Leah’s struggles to be loved in another Women of Faith article.