Have you ever found money in a winter coat or a bookbag which you have long since forgotten about and it’s like you’re suddenly ecstatic that you’re $10 richer? Don’t you love it when that happens? Now that I am really tight on money, finding a $10 bill is like finding a $100 bill so my joy in those types of situations is much more what they would normally be when I didn’t have to count every penny. Today, God brought this picture to mind as he was trying to calm me down from the temper tantrum I had immediately after church this morning.
The last “Amen” had barely left my pastor’s mouth when I bolted out the door on the verge of tears. Having sat in the back doing power point for the whole service, my exit was quick and easy. The whole time I drove home I was fuming with anger and the minute I sat down at my desk, I burst into tears. Why was I so upset? I was upset because I didn’t get to share my testimony of being freed from the torment of the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. I had been ready to share the testimony last week but there wasn’t time in the service, so my pastor asked me to share it this week. After waiting all week and counting down the days so I could share, I was devastated when we ran out of time again this week. I had tried to have the pastor send out an email with the testimony last week, but he wanted me to share it in person this week. I really wanted to send out another email pleading with him to share the testimony through email instead of waiting one more week, but God held me back.
“Why is it so important for you to share this now?” He asked quietly. Now I have learned that when God asks a question, it’s not because he needs information, but rather it is to show us where our hearts are. After thinking about it for some time, I responded, “Because the way people value my experiences is the way I think they value me.” In other words, in my mind, if people really valued me, they would be excited about the good things that happen to me and would want to tell the world. For example, if a parent whose child has been really sick suddenly gets healed, he would not hesitate to tell the world about this wonderful news because he values his child. However, someone who does not know the child who hears about the news would not have the same enthusiasm about sharing the news because the child doesn’t mean nearly as much to the stranger.
That’s when God brought up the money illustration. “Did that $10 bill you found in your coat pocket lose its value after being ignored for a whole year? Did it suddenly become worth only $5 because it has been shared or used and no one knew about it for a whole year?” God asked. He then continued, “You are still basing your value on the actions of others and your feelings. A $10 bill is worth $10 not because it’s used all the time, but because it was assigned that value by its maker.” Finally, quoting a message I had given to a youth group once, God reminded me, “Only the maker of an item (or person) has the right to name and assign value to that object (or person)”
If you have been following my blogs for some time, you will know that the issue of my value and worth has been the topic of many of my blog posts. It is definitely an area that God is repeatedly working with me on as it involves pulling up deeply rooted ways of thinking and sowing the truth in its place. So whether my testimony or blogs get shared or talked about or not, I must remember that my value does not hinge upon the responses of other people. It would be scary if it did because people are unpredictable and situations are unpredictable. If our value depended on what happened to us or what people say about us, we’d all be basket cases because we’d never know our value from moment to moment. I am grateful that the only one who has the right to assign my value never changes and so I can count on my value to never change as well. That, my friends, is the true cure for insecurity.