“That's a lot of stress on a young kid,” I said.
My husband and I were walking around some softball fields and had stopped to watch some young boys. The pitcher, about eight or nine years old, did a good job, but the batter walked anyway. These boys were under pressure to perform.
We continued our walk and passed a group of middle school boys suited up for a game. Swinging bats, tossing balls, and joking around, they worked hard at looking confident and careless. They were under pressure to impress.
Earlier we passed a woman--probably a mom on her way to watch her son’s game. Fashionably dressed in tight jeans with styled blonde hair and large sunglasses, she was under pressure to have the right look.
We’re all under pressure for something.
It may be to look a certain way, act a certain way, own certain things, or accomplish certain things. One problem comes when we have some success in those areas and we believe those things give us our sense of worth and value.
Earlier that day, I studied Ephesians 6:10-18 about the armor of God and prayed about my challenges with my eyesight. One reason diminishing eyesight is difficult for me is because it attacks the root of my self-worth. Certain areas of ‘success’ in my life provide a sense of value. But with vision loss, I cannot do what I once did. Even what I can still do, I cannot do it as quickly and successfully.
Intellectually, I know that my value was never supposed to come from what I could do.
Neither was the young pitcher’s value supposed to come from how well he could perform. Nor was the teen boys’ value supposed to be based on how cool they could act. Nor was the mom’s value supposed to result from how fashionable she could look.
All the people I saw at the baseball fields were probably like me—relying on something temporal for their sense of value and worth. But one day those things we rely on will not be there and we will have to make a choice. Will we continue to rely on temporal things for our value (and become discouraged)? Or will we believe we are of great value because God made us?
My day has come. I have to choose.
I can choose to believe that any ‘success’ I have in appearance, accomplishments, or other things does not increase my value, but should be to minister to others and for God’s glory.
I can choose to believe that my value is based on being a creation of God.
What areas have you (or others) depended on temporal things for value and self-worth? How has taking steps to find your value in God brought freedom in your life?