Skip to main content

No "sticker-shock" here!

I don’t cling to my life for my own sake. The only value I place on my life is that I may finish my race, that I may fulfill the ministry that Jesus our King has given me, that I may gladly tell the good news of God’s grace.  (Acts 20:23-24 VOICE)

Value is often something "assigned" by another - but is also based upon what we have come to give credence to, spend time working at, and get some sort of enjoyment from ourselves.  Someone may set the value of a new vehicle at "X" amount of dollars and people will flock to the showrooms to buy one.  Others may have fallen in love with an "old clunker" kind of car, take tremendous care of it, and buy an exact duplicate of it again if they had the chance.  Why? They have assigned a value to that vehicle beyond the sticker price.  It has become something useful to them and which brings them enjoyment.  The one heading to the new car showroom may not understand that value, but the one who possesses that "awesome car" certainly does!  We all have probably had those moments when we realize we didn't know how much we valued something or someone until that thing or person was no longer a part of our lives. It is truly a sad moment to realize what we placed "value" in is no longer there.

Value isn't always the value another places upon an object, a relationship, or the decision right there in front of us at this very moment.  It might just be value is determined more by how something or someone impacts our lives than anything else.  There are times when I have to ask the tough question: "Does what I am doing right now make sense - is there 'value-added' to my life or my work because of what I am doing right now?"  It might be the toughest question we ask ourselves about what gives or brings value to our lives.  We sometimes think the next big thing, a different relationship, or the job someone else tells us about will be the very thing to bring us greater "value" in life.  Often it is the things we don't fully recognize which either add value or end up taking it away.

Grace adds value, but grace isn't always recognized.  We might recognize it when we find ourselves "caught" in our moment of sin - standing there with "egg on our face", so to speak.  On the other hand, when we say something kind of unkind and someone overlooks the offensiveness of those words, do we always see that as grace and come to value the relationship even more?  Not always. There are times when grace is given and we are clueless!  I believe the more we come to value the "grace" within our relationships, the more we might just value our relationships.  The more we value the receiving of grace, it is entirely possible we will learn to value the giving of grace, as well.

The world around us might tell us to value certain things, such as status, power, privilege; or even beauty, good looks, or a great physique.  Are we being taught to value the integrity of others?  How about the genuineness of their heart's devotion?  Or even the depth of their compassion and gratitude?  Not always. The things we see on the outside are often not what really makes a man or woman "valued" in life.  It is what is at the core that really matters - the place where they have connected with grace themselves and understand others need that same connection.  It isn't the fanciest car in the showroom, but it is the one you can rely upon time after time again!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…