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Friday, June 14, 2013

To see worth, get wisdom and give worship

Wisdom, worship, and worth - our "W" List of character traits.  Wisdom is really application of knowledge we have received.  It is when we connect the "how-to" with the "get it done".  Worship is simply a matter of heartfelt dedication and directed thought, action, and emotion toward another.  In this case, our attention is to be directed toward none other than God.  Worth is sometimes the hardest thing for us to get hold of because we have all kinds of things running around in our minds about "worth".  In days gone by, the term "worth" was really attributed to the value of a coin.  As a lump of silver or gold or bronze was fashioned into a coin, it was given a "worth" based on its weight.  The more it circulated, the less its worth.  Why?  It wore down.  So, instead of the "worth" being consistent, it was diminished by its use.  Sometimes I think this is where we find ourselves today - we feel diminished by how we have been "used" or by how we have "used" ourselves!

God blesses everyone who has wisdom and common sense.  Wisdom is worth more than silver; it makes you much richer than gold.  Wisdom is more valuable than precious jewels; nothing you want compares with her.  (Proverbs 3:13-15 CEV)

I placed these three traits together because they are just as inter-related as all the others, but they really contribute to our better understanding of our "worth".  At the point the coin maker created the small coin, he had an intended "worth" for the coin.  In other words, he put into it exactly what it needed to have "full value".  As long as the coin was uncirculated, it maintained the "full value", but why make a coin unless it has a purpose?  The purpose of the coin was for it to be given in exchange for something.  The one who possesses the coin has a clear indication of its worth.  Wisdom directs him how to make the most of the full value of the coin.  Worship directs how he will use the coin.  Worth determines the return on his investment.

Too many times we "diminish" the worth of what our Creator has placed in our lives - through our negative talk, self-deprecating behavior, and the like.  The issue is not the "declared worth" of our lives, but the "believed worth" of them.  We don't make the connection between God's "measurement" of our worth and our "perceived" measurement of its worth.  We forget the "circulation" of our lives in areas where we got tumbled around a bit in some pretty dark places doesn't diminish our worth in Christ's eyes.  In fact, when he rescues us from those dark places, he actually returns us to the refiner's fire!  It is not so we can experience pain all over again, but so he can re-fashion us as we were originally created - so we return to our "full-worth"!

Common sense and wisdom don't always interact well together.  We learn common sense through experience.  Put your hairpin in a light socket and experience the mind-jolting surge of electrical energy through your body and you likely will not do that again anytime too soon.  You develop a little common sense - hairpins are for hair, not putting in light sockets!  You don't need "Bible knowledge" to figure out some of this kind of stuff in life - you need common sense!  But...you do need "Bible knowledge" to get to the place of exhibiting wisdom in the choices you make.  You need "application" of the knowledge you are exposed to.  In other words, learn what the Word of God says about God's creation.  Get it straight in your mind and then let God get it straight in your heart!  Wisdom is when we finally get our eyes off of what we "think" we know about ourselves and let God direct us toward what it is he sees as the reality of our worth in his hands!  We allow God (our Creator) to declare the "worth" of our lives instead of us determining it based on our past experiences.

Worship directs our focus - gets our eyes off of us and what we think about ourselves.  Wisdom helps us connect the dots, so to speak.  Worth is a result of the right focus, combined with the right understanding, affecting the beliefs we adopt as reality in our lives.  Get the first two right and the issues we have with the latter one will soon begin to melt away.  Just sayin!