Do you ever feel insignificant? Does it sometimes seem like if you would just be yourself around others, they wouldn’t want to be your friend? Do you ever get tired of trying to keep up the activities and mannerisms that you think your friends really like about you? Well then I think this post has something for you!
Over the past few months God has been teaching me about the topic of significance. The way God has been teaching me about this topic, is by allowing me to look back over the past ten years of my life and see the journey that I went on to get where I am today. Some of the key points that played a big role in getting me to where I am today, are exactly what I want to talk about in this post.
I am convinced that life is one big journey that is filled with numerous different steps that each person must take. The journey it ‘self that takes us to each step often looks different from person to person, but I really do believe that there are certain steps in life that are the same for everyone. One of the very first steps we all take is the step of deciding what makes us valuable, or significant. Usually at a very young age, and with almost no life experience, we set out on the journey of figuring out what makes us significant. One of the first games we play as children is the “What can you do?” game. When we met our friends for the first time as children it would take no time to start evaluating each other’s talents. Maybe you were a fast runner, or maybe you could throw a ball really well. Whatever it was, that became part of how others identified us. Maybe you went to church at a young age like I did, and heard all of those passages that talk about how special and unique you are. Through these repetitive experiences as children, especially in North-America, we started to believe that our value and significance came from who we were, and what we did, or could do. Quickly we made the connection that we could make ourselves more valuable, and more significant by building our personal portfolio and learning how to do things better than others. This initial process in the journey of life is difficult for me to perfectly describe, but I think most people could relate to the way I described it. One of the first milestones in our journey through life happens around this point. This first milestone is where we realize that we are insignificant. We realize that the things that we did, that we thought made us significant, are actually things that many people can do as well as we can, and maybe even better! There isn’t anyone who, can or has been able to, do everything better than anyone. Our abilities always fall short somewhere when we compare ourselves to others. Eventually we come to the realization that we can’t make ourselves more significant than we’ve always been. What I did at this point, and I think many people do, was fight reality. I tried to convince myself that I could be significant if I just worked really hard at being especially good at something, or if I convinced my friends that I was really smart. But that fight could only go on so long before I was exhausted from the cycle of disappointment. This is where I hit the second milestone which is accepting and embracing the truth that, my significance does not come from what I do, or from my level of goodness. Once I accepted this truth, I experienced a period of disappointment, disappointment with the fact that I was insignificant in the world’s eyes. But it was only after I accepted this inevitable fact of life that I started searching for the truth about significance. If what I do, does not make me more significant (or less significant) then I am now, then what is it that makes me significant in this world? Where should my sense of purpose for doing anything, or for doing anything well, come from?
THE TRUTH IS that you and I are significant because we were made in the image of God. The Bible tells us that God creates each and every one of us in His image. The Bible tells us that God loves us completely all the time, and that His love is not based on what we do but on who we are, His masterpieces. When we read the Bible in its entirety, one message that stands out clearly is the message of our inability to ever be good enough to deserve or earn God’s love. When I realized that I am significant because God makes me significant, and not because of what I do, it freed me from so much self-induced pressure!! Rather than trying to make myself deserve God’s love I started to accept God’s love into my life. I started to spend time with Jesus getting to know His love for me on an experiential level. This has totally changed my approach to everyday life and interacting with others. Life has stopped being about competing with others, or about holding on to confidence in myself and my abilities. Instead I am full of the truth that God knows that I will never deserve His love, and He still loves me!!! As I recognize my imperfections more and more, God’s grace and mercy in my life gets emphasized more and more. This allows me to extend grace to others when they make mistakes.
I hope that this post has encouraged you today. My whole goal with it is to encourage you to accept the fact that you will never be able to make yourself good enough or significant enough to deserve God’s love. Because the reason we are all significant is because God made us and loves us! Not because of what we can do for God, and not because of what we can do for others. The reason we are supposed to love others is because Christ loves us! So first we need to accept and experience the truth that Jesus actually loves us! Then loving others and doing good will not be so difficult. Nothing you or I do will make us more significant, or more valuable to God then we were when we were first born. So let’s let go of ourselves, and let’s hold tightly to Jesus!