I was at the kitchen sink.
I don’t recall what led up to this scenario, but I stood looking out the window asking myself,
“Am I going to live my life based on someone else’s perception of my value?”
What an interesting thought.
I suppose the common road is that we rarely soar higher than the people who are around us think we can.
Have you ever noticed how some people bring out the best in us?
There are some people in our lives that think we are amazing. They believe in our potential.
In their eyes we are as valuable as they are.
They just assume we are going to succeed because in their eyes, why wouldn’t we succeed?
And then there are the folks who hold us in low regard. They don’t really believe we can do much,
and what we have achieved just isn’t important to them.
Nothing we do makes them proud of us and we always feel they are simply tolerating us.
When we’re around them, we start to feel small. We start to feel our voice doesn’t matter,
because it doesn’t matter to them.
These two groups have completely different perceptions of our value.
It is most natural to build a life around the value placed on us by
whichever group we have been exposed to the most.
If it is the group that cheers us on, believes in us, and teaches us the sky is the limit,
then we will probably live more fully, be willing to take risks and not be afraid when blessings come.
If the majority of our lives we are exposed to the group that makes us feel small, that doesn’t want to hear our voice,
that tolerates our existence, then we will probably live a life that is small, full of fear,
always doubting if we matter, and fearing God’s blessings because we feel we’re not valuable enough to receive them.
Now I ask you the question.
“Are you going to live your life based on someone else’s perception of your value?”
To Christ, our value is so great that we were worth dying for.
To humans, our value varies drastically based on whose eyes are looking at us.
So who do we believe?
Whose perception will we live up to?
Whose evaluation of our value will we pattern our life by?
It is actually easy to choose an answer, but difficult to live the answer.
I’m sure we all want to choose to live up to the potential seen in us by the one who is cheering for us and believing in us.
But if the voice of the one who sees little value in us has shaped us most of our lives, we are going to run into many roadblocks.
When happiness or success starts coming our way, we will start doubting our worth to receive such blessings.
As we get confident and break out of our comfort zone, we will start to doubt ourselves and go back to the “small” version of ourselves.
That one who doesn’t need to prove anything because success is not expected.
The answer, as I ponder this, is to listen to one voice.
The one voice that overrides every other opinion of any group or any person.
The one and only voice that truly comprehends our value and knows how to build us up to reach our potential.
That one voice is God’s.
With His intimate knowledge of who we are, coupled with an unconditional love that goes
beyond our comprehension, God places a value on us higher than any other human could.
God is the only one who has the
authority to determine our value.
No one else’s perception of us is accurate.
Some will hold us too high, building us up to be self-reliant and equip us to fight for our own dreams and desires.
Some will value us as dirt, telling us by action or word that we are nothing, deserve nothing, and will always be nothing.
It’s too difficult to please and live up to all the different values and perceptions of mankind.
And these perceptions of our value, from the “good” group and the “bad”, are tainted with humanness.
Both groups can lead us to build a life on a flawed evaluation of our value.
But God’s voice and God’s perception of our value is holy.
His perception of our value leads us to balance.
If we let His perception of our value replace everyone else’s to shape our lives,
we will learn a balance of confidence and humility.
Some really have been told or shown by actions that they are trash, a mistake, worthless.
There really are people suffering from living a life that is not valued by those around them.
Then there are those who have been built up so high by those around them that they plow past
their sinful humanness right into pride and self reliance.
Healing and balance needs to be restored here.
Believing we have so much value that we can conquer the world, but not tying that confidence to
bringing God glory and submitting to His will is not the outcome that pleases God.
Believing that we have no value to the point that we live in fear and shame,
believing God can’t use us so we do nothing, is not the outcome that pleases God either.
God is in the business of making things new. The business of healing what has been broken.
The business of restoring what has been lost.
Whether we have been shaped by people that made us feel shame and worthlessness
or by people that made us feel the sky is the limit,
God can take our lives and shape it into something that is balanced and restored by His touch.
We do not have to shape our lives based on how others perceive our value.
Remember, God is the only one with the authority to determine our value.
Everyone else’s perception is just an opinion
shaped by their own flawed humanness.
Instead, look at your life and your value based on the unwavering Truth of scripture,
then build your life off of that.
When shame and fear overtake your mind, go back to scripture to remind you of God’s opinion.
If pride and self-reliance overtake your heart, go back to scripture to remember that
the One Who values you is the One you are living for.
We may not always have the power to choose who our ears listen to,
but we have the power to choose who our heart listens to.
It doesn’t matter if no one values you around you.
Do no not let that shape who you are, the choices you make, or the life you live.
Shape your life off the value that the God of the universe places on you,
then let His word guide you as you move forward in life.
Lastly, lest we error in hypocrisy, what value are we putting on the souls around us?
What value are we putting on our children, our spouse, our friends, teenagers,
our fellow church members, and on strangers?
If we look at them with God’s perception of value, then they are all equal and have equal potential
because God’s love and principals are available to them all.
If their potential depends on God’s power and ability then why would we ever cast them down?
God can use any vessel and God values every vessel because He has paid for them with His own shed blood.
God is highly invested in every soul around us.
Yet, we often flippantly cast our judgement of their value based on our faulty, human perception.
Let’s value every life as precious and having meaning. Let’s give what we want to receive.
Never will we be so loved and accepted and valued than when we are beheld in our Savior’s gaze.
And friend, His eye is always upon us.
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