I really enjoyed my quiet time this morning. I was reading in Romans 12...(v1)...I plead with you give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (v2) Don't copy the behavior customs of this world. But let God transform you into a new person BY CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK! THEN you will learn to know God's will for you, which is GOOD and PLEASING and PERFECT!
I started thinking...what are the behavior patterns of this world that I am NOT to pattern my life after? A few random things came to mind...unfaithfulness in marriage, selfishness, materialism, slander, dirty talk, drunkenness, gluttony, trying to be the perfect mom/super mom (in the eyes of the world), American dream, over-busy (even God rested), undisciplined, out of control, self-pleasing. This list could go on...I am not to blend with my culture in these ways.
Verse 3 goes on to say....Do NOT think you are better than you really are! Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. It's as if Paul was trying to say - "now that you're working hard to be who God created you to be and live holy lives, DON'T GET A BIG HEAD AND THINK YOU'RE AMAZING BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU DO OR DON'T DO!" With the help of my notes in my Bible, and hearing the holy spirit speak to my heart, this is what I walked away with, and it really encouraged me!
I must NOT base my self-worth and value by measuring myself up against the world's value system, my success and achievements, or my roles and responsibilities. I am NOT defined by ANY of this! Doing so can have two negative effects. It can make me think too much of myself and cause pride in my life. Or it can even cause me to compare myself to others, feel defeated, and think too little of myself. Both evaluations are wrong and cause me to question my worth in the eyes of others and miss my TRUE VALUE in God's eyes. I am defined by WHO I AM IN CHRIST! And NOTHING can change this! This jumped out at me. The times that I am discouraged with who I am, or even who I am not, I am focusing on my worldly value. I am comparing myself to a human standard. This value system will ALWAYS FAIL ME! I am created and loved deeply by God who sees my heart and he died for me ANYWAY because his love is so great for me! He sent his Spirit to live inside me and speak to my spirit! This speaks volumes of my value and what I am eternally worth! Without God, I can accomplish nothing of eternal value. With God, my value and impact on eternity and the lives of others - my children, family, friends, and beyond - has no eternal limit. God is SO GOOD! IN CHRIST - I am soooo important and cherished and valued and loved and ACCEPTED! There is no rejection in Christ.
So when you feel discouraged, thinking you're not enough, remember you have ETERNAL VALUE and THAT's what we are here for. THAT is what matters. IN CHRIST, you are enough!. And also, remember, IN CHRIST, you're not better than that girl next to you, either ;).