Friday, February 11, 2011

The Mirror on the Wall: On Value and Significance

Psalm 139:13-16
13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be. 

I met a young woman who was in search of significanceEveryday she would live her life longing for acceptance from the people around her.  If she got it, she was determined to keep it, and would wake up the next morning and try to emulate everything she did the day hopes that she would get it once again.  People are desperate for significance...longing to look in the mirror and see something meaningful looking back at them. 

One thing that I come face to face with every day as a professional counselor is this concept of value.  I am overwhelmed by the amount of people who I meet who are struggling with the basic concept that they are worth something.  Grown men and women, living their lives longing for someone to notice them, to touch them, to acknowledge them- in hopes that they will somehow make them feel that they are truly worth it.

I understand this struggle.  It resonates with me, because I too have a little part of me that seems to always be crying out, longing for someone or something to fill that little void, to remind me that I am significant.  I understand the need for validation, because it is a need that lives within me as well.   

And some days those interactions come.  Some days are good.  Some days we brush up against people who treasure us, who notice us, who love and cherish us.  It's easy to feel valuable on days like that, isn't it?  I know I leave those interactions feeling filled...temporarily anyway. That is the intrinsic problem with allowing our value to be based on those around us...

...Because other days are not so good.  Other days are filled with ridicule.  Other days I walk in a room and am ignored.  Other days my desire to be liked by all and loved by some feels like a passing dream.  Some days aren't so good.

For those of us who allow our value and worth to be determined by those around us- we find ourselves living on an emotional roller coaster.  We have no control over how our day will unfold, because our value is left in the hands of another.

We somehow allow ourselves to believe the lie that our worth lies in the eyes of the person standing in front of us- rather than believing that our value comes from the Person living inside of us.  

For those of us who believe, there is a kind of value that cannot be taken away.  A value that has nothing to do with who we are or what we do.  A value that lies only in the eyes of our Creator, a God who looks down on us and says three beautiful words "That is good". 

I love this verse, because I love the character of a God who "knit me together".  A God who was so purposeful in making me who I am.  A God who loved us so much that He made us in His own image...because just like a loving parent, He wanted to see His face in ours.   A God who calls us by name and writes our stories before we are even a thought.  I love the idea of a God who gives us value because of who He is rather than who we are...a value that always stays the same.

But I also understand the struggle to accept this significance from His hands.  Many of us are unable to receive this value because we are stuck on the "bad days".  The days when the voices around us lied...the days we were ignored, abused, and hurt.  The days when their voice was so loud- and His voice seemed so small.

May God give us the strength to tune in to His voice as the source and tune out all else.  May He help us reprogram our minds to see ourselves for who we really are.  May He give us the grace to heal from the wounds of our past and allow us to live in the purpose of our present.  May He give us the courage to look in the mirror and accept ourselves for who we really are: God's workmanship, wonderfully made.


  1. Wonderful post! And so very true of people today, especially the younger generation coming up.
    Have added you to my follows and will be back to visit:)

  2. What a beautiful post addressing an important reality for many today. I think no matter how chiseled and mature of a christian we might become there's always a human dimension that makes us wonder what others think and long for approval and recognition. But this can sometimes become a real stumbling block.

    I agree with Mary...I think with each coming generation there is more of an emphasis to center around one's self and this leads to great insecurities and anxiety about what others think...oftentimes finding value more from what others think rather than in our identity in Christ.

  3. Mary thank you for your thoughts! Isn't it interesting how things change from one generation to the next...or maybe it is that this generation is more willing to open up about insecurities and feelings in general, than the generations of the past. Either way, these things must always lead us back to Christ. Thanks for taking the time to read and for following!!

  4. Jessica, you are right in saying that no matter how far we come on our journey with God, there is still always that approval piece...May God allow that to point us back to Him. Thanks for reading and for your thoughts, they are always appreciated:)

  5. Psalm 139: 13-16 should be required reading and memorization for all children old enough to comprehend. And those who aren’t old enough to grasp this truth will be in time, as their reasoning kicks in. One day it will sink deep down into their hearts and transform their thinking.
    The search for significance is ubiquitous and the struggle for acceptance widespread nowadays. Life is full of hard knocks, and only Christ can heal and restore our fragile souls.
    “ We somehow allow ourselves to believe the lie that our worth lies in the eyes of the person standing in front of us- rather than believing that our value comes from the Person living inside of us…” what a line!

  6. My thoughts on this are that we are human therefore the craving to be accepted, to be valued and to be loved is natural but I believe it starts with ourselves, we have to accept, value and love ourselves before we can receive and reciprocate.

    Eloquently written, it really is a joy to come here and read your words.


Love to hear your thoughts...