I am finding more and more that who I believe myself to be is not who I am. People are constantly changing. If you are not changing then either you live in a hobbit hole and never come out or you are one bitter person because everything that you knew has been changing on you ever since you stopped moving with the cheese. For those who don’t get the moving with the cheese comment please read the book “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson: Read this link for further info: click here!
So, with change in the world comes change to the individual. As my life has changed over the past three and a half years, mainly in dealing with leaving military service, I have struggled to find my self-worth. As a Christian I am supposed to find it in Christ, which I believe means something along the lines of dying to my own desires daily and taking up my cross in following the teachings of Jesus in my own life. I do not do well with this aspect of my faith. I do try to do the things that are taught in the Bible, at least those that I am aware of, however, from time to time God seems to “open my eyes” to reveal some other aspect of how I live that needs correction in order for me to enjoy living more.
My self-worth does not come from doing these things though. I do find joy in being obedient to my faith but I also struggle with balancing my faith and my desires. For instance, I desire a high-paying job (for me that would be anything above $36,000 at this point with benefits like insurance and monthly accrual of vacation days) but my faith says that God knows what I have need of before I ask (Matthew 6:25-34). If I am faithful to live according to God’s ways in whatever occupation I am in now then God will take care of my needs. The problem is that I don’t care for the line of work I am currently in. Or what about desiring to move to the mountains in East TN? Well my faith tells me that God will move me where He wants me. I cannot tell myself that my family will move to East TN because I don’t know if I will live to see tomorrow. Instead I am supposed to say, Lord willing, we will move to East TN and prosper (James 4:13-17) . These are areas that I find myself desiring in order to be fulfilled, meaning where my self-worth lies.
So how do I give up these desires, or should I give up these desires? What would it hurt to give them up and to allow God to truly have complete control over all areas of my life? Would I still be able to set goals for myself and my family? I don’t know. Did Jesus set goals? I have yet to read about any in context of how we do it today but He definitely planned ahead. His leadership method is an amazing thing to study and He did talk about His coming death and resurrection. So how do I translate that into how to live my life? Again, I don’t know.
I do like this verse from Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia, “I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” (2:19b-21) So I guess what I am saying is that while I struggle with where my self-worth comes from the grace of God is what I depend on to see me through. Without it I am trying to work my way through this life into the next and that is no fun at all. I want the freedom to mess up and still be loved and accepted just as I am. That is where my self-worth should come from, and sometimes, I allow myself to reach out and find it, though often times I fail to realize that it is there the whole time for me to soak up and enjoy.
Boris the Illusionist