Tag Archives: Value

No Place for Favoritism

This past Sunday I delivered the fourth sermon in a series through the book of James. The text I covered was James 2:1-13.

If we would only heed the words of James, many criticisms of the Church would disappear.

Let me know what you think 🙂

Click on the picture for a link to the sermon audio.

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Filed under Preaching, Church, Christianity

Flawed and Loved

Here’s another insightful guest post. I’m so glad God loves me, flaws and all!


Guest Post by: Dorissa Vanover

“Duh!” “How Stupid!” “Dummy!” These words are the words that fly through my head when I’ve made a silly mistake.

I would never, ever talk to anyone else that way, but, for whatever reason, I feel quite free to berate myself soundly at any time or at any place. I simply cannot cut myself any slack – especially when I goof.

I would really like to blame my upbringing. Maybe my parents are the ones who turned this horrible voice on inside my head. No, it wasn’t them. They tried their very best to make me feel good about myself. This voice is one I developed all by myself!

“She’s just being kind.”  These are the words in my head when someone pays me a compliment. If someone says my hair looks nice, I run to the bathroom mirror to try to figure out what my hair has done with itself since I sprayed it this morning – didn’t look so hot to me then.  I love compliments, don’t get me wrong―it’s just that even if I was tempted to believe them, I probably couldn’t see what was worth complimenting. I mean really, my hair looks nice – um – must be something wrong with her eyesight! 

We’ve all probably heard that it takes 10 positives to outweigh one negative. I believe it.  If ten people complimented me on my appearance and one person looked straight into my eyes and said, “You look tired. Are you feeling okay?”,  I would run to the mirror to check out the tired eyes.

I don’t think I’m the only person in the world who looks for the flaws instead of the attributes when I’m evaluating myself. I’m trying to figure out how to stop it before it gets way too far out of hand.

The first step for me is to remember, “God didn’t make any junk.”  I’ve always known that’s true, especially when I look at my husband or my sons and their families. They are absolutely wonderful people and I’m so very proud of them. I need to remind myself that God created me, too. He loves me, even though I’m flawed.

The next step for me is to be as kind and gentle with my words to myself as I am to others. Have you ever tried to list five good qualities about yourself? I could list many more than that for the other people in my life, but to find five really good qualities about myself is a bit of a stretch. I’ll need to work on that.

The best step I can take is to trust that God has a plan for my life. He put me here for a reason or reasons that I may, or may not, get to know. If I stay focused on Him and His goodness, I won’t have too much time to worry about myself and my flaws.

The final step is to realize that the Bible is very plain about loving others as we love ourselves. Well, guess what? If I don’t have a healthy self-esteem, if I don’t value myself, how will I be able to value others? If I’m always looking inward at myself, how will I be able to hold my head high, look into the faces of the people God sends my way, and share with them all the love God has shared with me?

So, for today, my plan is to prayerfully focus on God and His mercy, treating each of His children, even myself, with the love He expects us to show.

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Filed under abuse, Depression, Guest Posts, Love of God, self-worth

Broken and Beautiful

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.

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Filed under God, self-worth

When Is One Valuable?

IMG_4205

Last night, as I was driving home, I took the above picture. To be nice I edited out the name of the church, along with the pastor’s name.

The first time I saw the sign it didn’t take long for me to realize something was wrong. Everything was spelled correctly (at least I think so), but the message of the sign was incorrect.

The problem with this sign is that someone misapplied the truth that something is only as valuable as what another will pay. For example, I have an old chunk of wood in my garage. For all practical purposes it is worthless. However, should someone offer me $500 for it, the piece of wood’s value just increased dramatically. But if I could never get even $.25 for the wood, it’s really not worth much at all.

Yet, when it comes to people – living souls – our value is intrinsic; we were made by God in the image of God…God doesn’t make junk. Therefore, it is because we are already of immense value that God sent His Son to pay the price for our redemption upon the cross of Calvary.

The price that God paid for us does not make us valuable; it confirms our value to Him.

Should we accept the message on this church’s sign, we must then assume that those who are lost without Christ are of little or no value. However, thanks be to God this is not true!

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” – Matthew 13:44-46 KJV

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” – 1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV

Our value preceded the price paid, and that is why there was only One who could afford the sacrifice it took to redeem us. 

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Filed under Christianity, salvation, self-worth

Self-Esteem and Enduring the Race

Self-Esteem

How we see ourselves is critical to endurance, isn’t it?

Myself, well, I battle with self-esteem ALL the time. Does that come as a shock to you? It shouldn’t. I’m only human. You see, it’s difficult to view myself as successful, much less a “godly” pastor when standing in the light of men whose congregations run in the hundreds, if not thousands, whose ministries see scores of people regularly coming to Christ, and whose lives are more like Billy Graham while mine often crumbles like a graham cracker.

Like Moses as he stood before the burning bush in Exodus 3:11, I often ask, “Who am I, God?” Compared to those men with huge ministries, those phenomenal leaders who grace our Christian bookstore shelves, or even the pastor down the road with cooler clothes, I seem small, ineffective, impotent, and of little worth.

However, if I would stop standing in the shadow of other men, and stand in the light of Jesus, things would be MUCH different!

Gracious Light

Sure, I am small and weak in the light of His glory, but in my weakness I am made strong, not patronized. When I stand in His light my frailties, my sin, my worries, my brokenness are made painfully evident…but so is HIS GRACE!

When I compare myself to other people, all I see failure. But, when I compare myself to Jesus Christ, I can recognize my utter inabilities and at the same time find in Him the strength and grace to be all HE wants me to be! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

As we follow Jesus Christ we are promised to be conformed to His likeness, not men. Should we conform to the likeness of others we view as more successful than ourselves, then we will truly fail.

Endurance is available for those who run their own race, not the race of others. 

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Filed under Christian Living, Depression, self-worth

Because of Who Made Me

Good Monday afternoon to those of you here on the east coast of the U.S. I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are, though.

I am writing a quick post before I head off to drive my afternoon routes on the school bus (I wrote a book about that – hint hint).

Value. What makes you valuable? What makes your life worth living? 

There is a teenage boy one of my daughters has been talking to. All he seems to want to discuss is how worthless he is because a couple of other girls don’t “love” him. Ever known a teenager like that? I might have even been one…ewww.

Here’s the thing, though: being loved doesn’t make you more or less valuable.

Now, I know that there are some of you who would say, “Anthony! You’re wrong! What makes us valuable IS the fact that we are loved – at least by God.” Well, I know that being loved by God is supremely important, but is that the sole reason for our worth?

The Price paid? Does the price paid for us – I’m talking the Cross of Calvary, here – determine our value? I used to think that way. It is certainly one of the things that determines value. For example, a piece of paper with a few scratches of ink on it could be worth millions, simply because someone is willing to pay that amount for it.

But let me tell you what I have been pondering. Do you remember the old illustration that tells of a beat-up, dusty violin that nobody wanted to buy, that is, until the Master picked up, tuned it, and began to play? It was/is a great illustration of how God can take what seems worthless and use it to make something beautiful, thereby increasing its value.

But here’s the thing: if that old violin had the name of Stradivarius written on the inside, it wouldn’t have mattered what it looked or sounded like; it would have been worth a fortune.

Simply put, we are valuable, not because we are loved, but because of Who made us. Our value is increased even more because of what’s been paid to redeem us.

Now, if one does not believe in the Maker, then one’s perception of value can only be understood as completely arbitrary. At that point the teenager’s value is truly reduced to his worth in the finicky eyes of other individuals. Where am I wrong on this?

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Filed under Abortion, Culture Wars, Depression, Love of God, self-worth