Regardless the success of his contemporaries, no man is a failure whose life is a positive reflection of Jesus Christ. – A. Baker
Category Archives: self-worth
“Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.” – Proverbs 25:14
There are a few things I hate to do in life, such as flossing (but I do it, anyway), hanging blinds, changing diapers, and moving. I also hate writing résumés – about as much as I despise licking a cheese grater.
Résumés (also spelled resumes, but looks like it would sound like re-zooms) are so difficult because of the desire to boast. For those of us who have less to boast about, filling out a résumé can be even more challenging. There is always the temptation to “pad” the résumé with skills not quite developed, like saying you’re a “lion tamer” when all you’ve tamed is your pet cat.
The problem with a padded résumé is that while it may get you in the door, it won’t guarantee you can do the job for which you are hired. When employers hire people based on the skills they are supposed to have, the expectation is that the employees use their skills, or “gifts,” when called upon.
Sadly, many people have been let go from high-paying, high-pressure jobs when their “boasting…of a false gift” became evident. Examples include Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson, RadioShack CEO Dave Edmondson, and Notre Dame football coach George O’Leary.
Even more tragic than being found out is the negative effect lying about one’s abilities can have on others. When Solomon compares boasting about a false gift to clouds without rain, we might imagine thirsty people, or hungry people looking at withering crops. How cruel it would be to promise them water but never deliver!
Don’t be a cloud without water. Don’t boast about gifts and abilities you don’t have. Be the best you can be and live up to the expectations others rightfully have of you.
A while back I there was a conversation in which I was asked, “Tell me, name one thing I do well?” Distraught and depressed, broken and humiliated by disabling pain, feeling like a burden to everyone else, this person said, “I’m worthless. I can’t do anything.”
As I remembered those words, especially at this time in my life, the image of a musical instrument, a violin, came to mind. Then I thought of my guitar and other instruments; each one capable of making beautiful, worshipful music, but only in the hands of one with talent enough to play.
I imagined the violin asking, “Tell me, name one thing I do well?” All I could think to reply was, “Nothing.” What can a violin do on it’s own but rest in a case, sit on a shelf, or gather dust in a closet? In the hands of one with no skill, with other things to do, and with no love for music, the violin could even become a wearisome burden over time.
In the wrong hands the violin is “worthless.” It has no value, no worth, no ability, no projection, no tone, and no song on it’s own. Alone, it really can’t do anything.
Then, right on cue, another thought exploded in my brain: What are we but instruments in the Master’s hands? We have no ability on our own. The violin never plays itself. The only way a musical instrument can ring out notes of joyous praise is when it is given life by the energy of the Musician.
But some may say, “I’m not a violin, a guitar, or anything like that.” Maybe so, but in the hands of a skilled musician even a trash can can bring an audience to its feet.
You may not feel like you’re valuable. You may feel worthless. But don’t believe the lie of the Enemy! Your value is not determined by what you can do, or what you look like, or by what others think, but by how much the Master was willing to pay.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” – 1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV
Dear friend, don’t let your inadequacies, your mistakes, or your disabilities make you feel worthless. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, thought you were worth dying for, and willingly shed His blood to purchase your soul. In your own strength you may be incapable of anything but being a burden on others, but in the hands of the Master, your life can be an instrument of praise in the concert of the ages.
Who knows? You may already be on stage … so don’t give up … the audience may be ready to applaud.
Sunday morning we visited Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church in order to see and hear the work my daughter Katie has been doing there. She was hired by this church to teach and conduct the Joy Choir, a precious group of primary-aged crumb-crunchers.
I can’t show you the video, simply because I don’t have the ability to upload it here to my blog. However, look me up on Facebook and you’ll be able to find it.
What I can show you, though, is a picture I took of a beautiful, huge, stained glass window in the main sanctuary of the church.
What immediately came to mind was the fact that this beautiful work of art was created by piecing together thousands of broken pieces of glass. Yes, broken things.
Have you ever stopped to think about how God can take what is broken and make it new? Well, try to think about it this way: God can also take what is broken and make the brokenness beautiful!
Because God is God, and not man (Hosea 11:9), He can do more than create new things; He can take broken things and make beautiful creations from the pieces! The Master Craftsman can take that broken relationship, that scarred past, that wounded emotion, and that sense of inadequacy and create a masterpiece of beauty through which His light can shine.
The following is Part 3 of a 3-Part series of controversial posts first published in Sept. of 2013. I hope this one’s a blessing.
Don’t Be Shocked
I know that the title may come as a shock to many of you, but don’t be too shocked, at least not yet. I have been talking about men and women flirting over the last couple of days, but as I told you, there was a method to my madness.
You might be saying, “And if you say God is a flirt, then you are truly mad, you crazy fool!” But please, hear me (or read me) out. “Flirting” might not be the best word, but what about “wooing”? If not a flirting God, surely He woos us all the time.
Now, just in case you think I am crazy, let me share with you one of my favorite verses from one of my favorite books in the Bible, Hosea.
“I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.” – Hosea 11:4 KJV
With metaphor God explains to the prophet Hosea how He has gone the extra mile to win over His people’s love. That, after all, is the message portrayed by Hosea’s pursuit of Gomer (that’s his wife’s name) as she runs from lover to lover. God would much rather win our love than divorce (judge) us.
When I think of the first part of that verse, the words “cords of a man” become “heart strings.” In other words, in order to win our affections, God is doing everything He can to “pull our strings,” or at least the emotional strings of our hearts. Cool, huh?
Signs of Wooing
As with the last two posts, I’d like to consider some ways in which God might “flirt” with us. In other words, God might be wooing you if…
- You wake up earlier than you wanted, but see the most beautiful sunrise of your life.
- You decide to give up on life, only to have an email pop up showing someone worse off than you.
- It seems that there is no meaning in life, but then you hear a baby cry, or your child says, “I wuv you.”
- In the dark, late at night, you find yourself crying, but a warmth you can’t explain wraps around you, cradling you to sleep.
- You find yourself feeling like a failure, worthless and dirty, then from out of nowhere comes a verse you learned in Sunday School: “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son…”
Do I need to go on? Is He pulling the strings of your heart? Will you respond to His advances?
He does love you!
I am not a woman, and I never will be. That is why you will never see me do at least two different things.
First, you will never see me walk into a woman’s bathroom or locker room – my gender orientation is not “fluid.”
Second, because I am not a woman, you will never see me write anything like what I’m reposting from Robin L. Lewis. The following is just a wonderfully inspiring – and biblical – look at the true definition of womanhood. Please take the time to read it and let her know what you think.
Have you ever looked up a word to find that the real definition was quite different than what you had believed it to be? How did that change your understanding of the sentence or the verse?…