How do you treat things that are valuable to you?
I often keep them in a “safe space”. I will put my valuable things somewhere that they are protected from harm. I will certainly do my best to keep my valuable things free from damage. Valuable things are items that are important to me. It is not surprising I would want to keep them in a position that they will last as long as possible.
I have two championship rings from my time working with a top collegiate football program while in college. I was never good enough to play college football, but I loved the game and saw working for the team as a great way to earn a stipend to help pay for school. The rings are valuable to me because they have monetary value. They are massive and filled with diamonds. The rings are also valuable to me because they remind me of a special time in my life. I have regrets about how I handled temptations in college. I was not connected to the vine as described in John 15. I lived a sinful lifestyle and this puts a stain on my college years when I look back on them. But many good things did come of my time in college. I made a few friends that are still special to me to this day, I got a degree, I was a member of a championship football program, and I learned a lot about life and myself. Those rings help me remember all the good and bad things about my time in college, and they mean a lot to me. I keep them safely in a drawer. I hardly ever wear them. They don’t come out, because I don’t want to lose them. They are valuable to me.
In life, it’s more obvious than people realize who values their life. It’s pretty obvious to see who has a healthy sense of self worth, and who doesn’t. The guy who doesn’t wear deodorant thinks you would not talk to him even he wore it. The girl on the internet sharing pics in risqué attire does not think you will give her attention if she does not show skin. The teenager trying drugs for the first time does not want the drugs to kill him, but he finds value in the acceptance getting high with his peers earns him. He does not feel valuable enough to be accepted just for who he is. He will “figure the rest out” later. The over weight person in your youth group may be lazy. But most likely their depression drives them to prefer eating over getting healthy. I know when I am depressed I lock up and can sit on my couch for hours staring at my phone. During this time, I often will be eating junk and not getting much exercise. The outward cost of this is I gain weight and do not appear healthy. I’m doing nothing to preserve my life another day. I must not value myself in these times. After all, I’m doing more to preserve my championship rings, than to extend my own life on this earth.
I think most sins and bad decisions are rooted in a lack of self value. Especially for us Christians who were taught the truth at an early age. We knew what was right and walked away for really only a couple of reasons. 1) we desired our flesh over God and 2) we didn’t feel worthy of a role in Gods game plan.
I think I have fallen into both categories in the past. Sometimes, I just wanted to treat someone poorly so that I could elevate my own stature in front of others. Sometimes, the desire to serve myself certainly was the sad root of my sin. But more times than not I believe my downfall was actually rooted in number 2. I didn’t look at pornography because I preferred imagines over real sex. I looked at pornography because I did not believe Gods promise that he would bring me a wife. I was always good at making girls laugh, and getting attention. But I never had a girl tell me I was hot. I was never one of the “beautiful people”. I assumed at 16 I may never actually get to have sex with a real girl. So I cheapened Gods design for sex and started looking at sex online. I didn’t have enough self worth to realize that was silly. I did not trust God that His promises in that department were for me.
I believe most people who know the truth but walk in sin do not feel like the blessings from God would be for them either way. This is an issue of not feeling valuable. In the media age, nearly 24/7 voices are telling us where to find our value, and telling us what we are worth. Sometimes these voices make us feel good, sometimes they can destroy us. There is a constant voice that speaks to our value though. It is found in the Word of God. It constantly reminds us that God loved the people of the world. He loved the people so much He sent his Son to provide a route to restoration. The Bible says I was fearfully and wonderfully made. It also says that He knows how many hairs are on my head, and how many days I will live.
Millennial Christian, our value is plainly described to us. If we reject this explanation of our value, then we are telling God the earthly voices are louder and more trustworthy than His. Millennial Christian, let’s reaffirm daily what He says about us by spending time in His word. Let’s pray for faith if we lack it. Let’s pray that His voice would be our guide and that His is the one we would believe and follow. He has told us plainly who we are, let’s believe Him.