Over the previous two weeks, we have looked at the first two components of a biblical sense of self-worth—Identity and Brokenness. These two seem, at first, to work in opposite directions. The one would build us up as we consider the value with which God views us. The other would bring us down in recognition of our need. We know that we need God, that there’s little good within ourselves.
So where do these two leave us? If Identity wins the argument, we walk away upbeat and confident of our own capacity and worth. If brokenness conquers, then we limp toward the future, overpowered by the thought that there is nothing good in us. It seems these two must be held in constant tension—that our identity must always be informed by our brokenness—if we are to be emotionally healthy.
But in truth, God doesn’t hold them in balance. He doesn’t continually throw our weaknesses in our face to keep us humble. He leaves such awareness to us. Instead, our third element shows us where God stands on our potential. He gives us Purpose.
You must discover and practice your God-given purpose in life, not someone else’s.
The most amazing news about our lives is not complete by considering the love of God. Surely His love for us is far beyond extraordinary and unexpected, but that He also wrestles His purposes into bite-size pieces, small enough to be held in our hands adds more stunning truth to the mix. God uses us to achieve His perfect and eternal aims!
While every individual can discover this to be true, those of us who serve vocationally in leading pockets of His Church should be constantly aware that we play in eternal things. Our life’s work matters in the lives of people forever. That God would call us and trust us with binding and loosing Heaven on earth should give a focus to our lives that mere human rejection can’t touch.
Sure, we must always remain accountable to those we lead. We can’t be allowed to bulldoze others toward our ways by simply insisting that we work for God and not for them. That’s hardly the posture of a servant. But we can—and should—always maintain our grasp on the fact that God has included us in His eternal plan and stands ready to use us to impact others for His glory. If God values us like that, how deep should we allow anyone else’s opinion to cut us?
Most of the internal thoughts or self-talk that crush our self-worth—the lies that we’ve spent a lifetime rehearsing—can’t really stand up to a God who has shared His purpose. Somebody’s voice that once announced us as “stupid” or “worthless” or “never amounting to anything” has to be stilled by a much bigger Voice that says “You are my child” and “Come follow Me” and “Feed My sheep.” Knowing God has called us empowers us to withstand and even silence those voices for good.
Sometimes you just need to revisit the memory of that moment where you said “yes” to God’s call. Maybe you were just a kid or perhaps an enthusiastic and grateful refugee, recently rescued from a life of destruction. Wherever you came from, the memory of that moment shouts something very different about you. God said, “Whom shall we send?” and you said “Here am I.”
And He made His acceptance of your offer clear when He then said, “Go…”